The Pulaski County Advisory Plan Commission granted conditional approval to a rezoning request for a proposed confined hog feeding operation pending approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 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 is acting as a consultant on the project.
“They’re meeting all the obligations with IDEM, with the zoning, with the setbacks, with the farming practices. Morgan Hill has demonstrated a history of excellent farming practices with no IDEM violations at all. Very professional family, and this will be no different,” said Hoek.
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.
“The hog farming is very compatible with crop farming because of the organic fertilizer that is used to spread on the fields and inject in the fields and support a growing corn crop. It’s a very sustainable program, very low odor emissions. Morgan Hill is involved in research, so the buildings are very state-of-the-art. They are involved in genetic research to help make a better pig for the consumer,” Hoek said.
Concerns about the project include the smell and the environmental impact of having that many animals. Hoek says this is covered in state’s permit and regulatory process.
“IDEM is a very strict enforcer of certain rules and regulations this type of operation would have to comply with. Many of the things that were talked about in would be absolutely illegal for a farmer to do on purpose, and the law prevents that,” Hoek explained.
The Advisory Plan Commission’s approval is contingent on IDEM’s granting of the necessary permits to proceed as well as enlargement and improvement of the intersection that serves the area. Plan commission members Terry Young, who represents the county commissioners, and citizen member Jeff Ruff both voted against the recommendation.
More information about IDEM’s rules governing confined feeding operations can be found by clicking here.