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Opinion: Critics use false claims against modern hog operations

by 5m Editor
4 December 2006, at 10:32am

US - I can't say it surprised me to read a recent study that shows people here in Lyon County have some of the longest life spans in the nation. We believe in clean living, hard work and being good to our neighbors, and that's bound to pay off.

What does surprise me is how people outside the business and outside this county continue to get ink in The Des Moines Register by throwing around unscientific reports that hog producers like me are ruining the health of adults and children who live near modern hog facilities.

Lyon County and Sioux County (two counties noted for longevity in the study) also rank among the top 10 hog-production counties in the state. Talk about ironic!

I'm a third-generation, 33-year-old hog producer. All I've ever wanted to do is farm. I work in an 850-sow hog barn every day of my life, seven hours a day. My wife and three young children also help out. All are in good health, and I haven't had a sick day in 10 years.

My father, a longtime hog producer and veterinarian, also is of good health. Activists often cite a University of Iowa study linking hog confinements to childhood asthma. If I believed it were true, I never would have built our home just 150 yards north of our earthen manure-storage basin.

Source: Des Moines Register

5m Editor