Following the Pulaski County Advisory Plan Commission’s conditional approval for a rezoning request to allow for a proposed confined hog feeding operation near 200 North and 400 West, the Pulaski County Commissioners handed down their decision in the matter last night. The Advisory Plan Commission approved the request pending approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and improvements at the intersection of 200 North and 400 West.
Brothers Joshua and Jared Brown of North Judson, doing business as JoJa, LLC, want to raise between 20 and 25,000 pigs per year on 40 acres of land at 200 North and 400 West. The proposed farming operation will be situated behind a large sand hill in order to be somewhat less obtrusive. John Hoek, a consultant on the project, said the brothers are meeting all the obligations with IDEM, zoning, setbacks, and the farming practices.
Hoek adds the hog farming operation will be set up in four buildings on land adjacent to several parcels of property owned and farmed by the Brown family. A huge public turnout at the commissioners’ meeting voiced concerns about the project, largely focusing on the smell and the environmental impact of having that many animals, as well as the potential health impacts. Hoek says this is covered in the state’s permit and regulatory process.
An overwhelming majority of the public attending the meeting voiced out against the proposal, claiming the farm would lower their property values significantly and “stink” them off of their properties. At least two people exclaimed that since they don’t “live in Pulaski County,” and are from Starke County, they would only be hurting the county with their operation and the costs required to improve the roads to allow for the increase in truck traffic would not outweigh the taxes that would come to the county.
At least one person said the brothers should “stay in Starke County.”
However, despite the opposition, Commissioner Larry Brady made a motion to support the advisory board’s recommendation for rezoning, and Commissioner Tracey Shorter seconded the motion. Commissioner Terry Young, however, voted against the motion; it passed 2–1, to an eruption of disagreement and outrage by the public.