Everyone wants bacon, no one wants pigs

Sadly, the recent Letters to the Editor only reveal a growing trend that many consumers do not value or understand food production. They want their relationship with food to start and stop in the aisles of the local supermarket. Anything deeper than that suddenly becomes a nuisance and direct assault to their daily lives.

However, farmland is not for your viewing pleasure. You will have to excuse the fine men and women of Fayette County if they are bothering you in their quest to put food on YOUR table and earn a living. The beautiful farms and fields you see across the county are privately owned, mortgaged pieces of property. They have a tax liability and are vitally important to our county’s economy, schools, and public services. Because of this, landowners must maintain their autonomy to farm and operate their business.

The proposed hog facility is not a factory farm. Modern hog barns are designed to maximize inputs, such as feed, while emphasizing swine care and comfort. Best management practices are utilized to properly handle nutrients and minimize environmental impact.

Agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry; worth over $100 billion annually to the state’s economy and Fayette County is an agricultural juggernaut within the state. Ohio is ranked in the top ten in pork production and is also part of the Corn Belt.

Regardless of what happens to the placement of the proposed facility, the farming community in Fayette County is something to celebrate and cherish. As a member of Fayette County Farm Bureau, I’m thankful that someone is working to make sure we all have bacon!

Steven Berk

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Organization Director for Clinton, Fayette, Madison, Delaware and Franklin counties