NDFB supports Buffalo pig farm

Created: 1/21/16 (Thu) | Topic: Issues

NDFB President Daryl Lies issued the following editorial in response to the "stink" being raised about a proposed hog farm near Buffalo, N.D.

North Dakota Farm Bureau is an unfaltering supporter of the growth and expansion of livestock in our state, regardless of size or type. Our track record proves that. In 2007, NDFB supported Ramsey County Farm Bureau in a lawsuit to make sure county and township zoning requirements for animal feeding did not overstep the authority of the state Health Department. The North Dakota Supreme Court sided with Farm Bureau's position.

In 2012, NDFB successfully amended the North Dakota Constitution to protect the right of farmers and ranchers to use modern technology on their farms and ranches. Voters overwhelming agreed and passed the measure by nearly 67 percent of the vote.

So we were particularly troubled by the “stink” being raised by opponents of a proposed hog farm near Buffalo. While Rolling Green Family Farms is in the process of meeting all the rules required by our state government for a farm of this type, a vocal group of opponents are portraying this farm as a threat to the public.

It didn’t help that North Dakota State University Agribusiness and Applied Economics research specialist Randy Coon used his title at the meeting to give the impression that our Land Grant Institution does not support livestock development. At the meeting, Coon stated, "Talk about economic impact, I have been doing those for 40 years, and they're blowing sunshine at you." What kind of message does that send? It was wrong and only added fuel to a fire that should not have been started.

Now news reports indicate that if enough "concerns" are raised, the Health Department will hold a public hearing. Rolling Green Family Farms is following all the procedures for approval, and the Health Department is following all the protocols to ensure environmental and safety concerns are addressed. What is there left to discuss?

As we see it, this should be a non-issue. The requirements are being met by Rolling Green Family Farms and the Health Department is doing its job as well.

So what really is the problem?

North Dakota Farm Bureau will stand with farmers who want to start or expand livestock production in North Dakota. It’s the right thing to do. It's the lawful thing to do. It’s good for our economy. It’s good for our communities, and it’s good for the future of North Dakota.

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