Commentary - Hog barn is potential threat to the water system and environment


The threat to the water system and our environment is real. And, as I said before, this should be a concern for everyone as we are all affected. We live in a wonderful country, where men are free to choose their work and live “the dream,” and God bless it! My intention is not to hinder someone from making an honest living. However, I have my own dreams to protect. Making sure that my family is safe and the environment that they live in is not a danger to them is on the top of my list.


By Aimee Goodwin, Osakis, MN

via Osakis Review (MN) - August 15, 2012


I am writing to address the issue of the swine barn that is going in down the road from my home.


When I first heard about it, I was mostly heartbroken at what this meant for our wonderful country neighborhood. It’s a beautiful part of Todd County, where the people are friendly and the wildlife is plenty. One of my favorite things to do is sit out on my front porch in the spring and listen to the chorus of the frogs that reside in Silver Creek, just over the hill from my home. Heartache turned to a sick stomach at the thought of what the smell of 2,000 plus pigs would do to beautiful nights.


If I could stop it, I would, and I’d be a liar if I told you I haven’t tried. My interest is personal, of course. But this is not an issue that should just be the problem of those who live nearby. This is an issue for the entire surrounding area; anyone who loves nature; anyone who cares about our environment. This facility is going to be built at the top of the valley where we live and though there is no water running on the actual property, the Long Prairie River runs adjacent to it, just a short three miles away. Silver Creek is less than a mile away.


I have done a lot of research on these massive operations. I could fill this entire newspaper with the horror stories I have come across in my studies. But what I want to focus on today is what this may do or has the potential to do to our environment.


There is the song and dance of “ there are very strict state laws and restrictions for these operations to make sure that they are safe for everyone.” And that’s true; there are. But when it comes right down to it, no one can guarantee any of that. The real bottom line is, these massive hog barn operations are filthy and have even been referred to as one of the worst environmental pollutants that there is.


So here is the short version of this situation: Any polluted water will run right down our valley. It will easily travel across our neighbor’s property onto ours and only have a short trip from here into the creek. From there, with nothing to stop it, it will be dumped into the Long Prairie River and go anywhere it sees fit to travel along its way. That’s not all. Because one pig makes approximately three gallons of manure a day, the owners need to have contracted with the surrounding landowners an agreement to be able to spread the manure. Over time and being so close to the water, it is possible for the ground to become oversaturated and the water can be polluted that way.


The threat to the water system and our environment is real...