Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Educating our Neighbors

Soo-wee! ...... Phooey!
Sick of pig farm stench, Tewksbury group seeks law
By Megan Woolhouse, Globe Staff September 24, 2008

TEWKSBURY - As David Powers drove past the pumpkin patch and corn maze at Krochmal Farm last week, the farmer in the field waved, making a very unfriendly hand gesture. Obscene, in fact.

Tewksbury may be a picturesque New England town, but a fight over a pig farm's stench has the community in an uproar, frustrating public officials and turning neighbors into bitter enemies.
Pig farm owner John Cave Sr. feels under siege, saying he's only trying to earn a living. "Get used to it," Cave said of the smell.

In this town 30 minutes north of Boston, there are no rules overseeing pig farming. That's because historically, pigs have outnumbered people. Not anymore.

Today, one of the largest pig farms in the state sits in the midst of a growing suburban community of 30,000. Pigs live in neighborhoods where sport utility vehicles rule and backyard swimming pools are increasingly the norm. At Krochmal Farm, named for farmers who tilled the land generations ago, more than 900 pigs live in a barn perched atop a 500,000 gallon manure pit, all of which sits a light breeze away from vast tracts of ranch houses and minimansions.

Some complaints come from residents at a luxury subdivision next to the farm, even though the people who live there signed a legal document recognizing the farm's existence at the time of purchase and the pig farm was there long before the residents. Read More

These issues of people moving next to farming operations and then not liking the sights and smells that go with a farming operation seem to happen all the time these days. If people are not familiar with agriculture, they don’t understand how they operate or what to expect. Also, the “smell tests” are very subjective. Just as not everybody can agree on what tastes good or bad, what smells bad is really in the nose of the beholder. I have never been on a livestock operation where the smell was unbearable. It really seems odd to me that people want to move out to farm country, run out the farmers, and then build more houses on that land. Aren’t they defeating the purpose of their original move?

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