Hog farm opponents seek support

ARIZONA - Possible neighbors of the proposed hog farm in eastern Yuma County aren't quite ready to accept an animal feeding operation in their backyard even though the company intends to break ground this week.
calendar icon 19 February 2007
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"We're concerned about the way they raise hogs and the impact on the surrounding area," said Jon Warkomski, who farms 1,600 acres just west of where the hog farm would be located at Spot Road on the south side of Interstate 8.

Warkomski is the spokesman for area farmers and landowners who want to try to stop the progress of the hog farm. They will be appealing to the public for support during two community forums this week.

The first forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Palmcroft School, 8th Avenue and Palmcroft Drive. The second will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dateland School in the Aldridge Community Center.

"We will be providing information the community needs to be aware of," Warkomski said.

The hog farm's potential water use is a major concern for area landowners and farmers, Warkomski said. He explained that the wells that would supply crops raised for the disposal of manure would draw down the underground aquifer, the only source of water for the area. This would impact current farmers, the town of Dateland and any future development of the area.

A hydrology study concluded there is "more than enough water to sustain the farming operation for more than 20 years with no recharging," said Steve Duchesme, spokesman for Clougherty Packing Co. Clougherty, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods, will be operating the hog farm to process Farmer John products.

Duchesme said that he is not aware of plans by the company for other operations in Yuma County.

Source: YumaSun.com

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