Letter to the Editor: Pete & Berleen Wobeter

Last year at this time we were preparing our farm north of Toledo for our daughter’s wedding. We spent days cleaning, growing, mowing and watering everything in an unusually dry year. September 4 arrived a perfect day. It was beautiful on the farm and we will always treasure those memories

One of the unexpected delights of the wedding preparations were the many offers of help and acts of kindness from our neighbors. They made the work almost fun and we loved the constant interaction and friendly conversations.

This year when we could be enjoying the start of Iowa’s growing season we are instead fighting the building of an Iowa Select hog confinement with a proposed 5,000 hogs in our neighborhood less than a mile from us. The land is being sold to Iowa Select by a local farmer who failed to be neighborly and warn us of their plans to send hog stench into our air.

Why should you care? If Iowa Select, the fourth largest hog producer in the U.S., gets more of a foothold in Tama County without citizen resistance, they can and they will build more. The next site may be as close as one quarter mile from your property, harming your air, water, property values, health, quality of life – using taxpayer dollars to keep roads up to and from the site.

Do not expect your county, the Iowa DNR, legislators, or governor to help. These entities are either hamstrung by lax Iowa code/law or receive large sums of money from Iowa Select. Our public resistance to CAFO expansion is the best approach according to others who have fought this fight.

Pork producers and a representative from Iowa Select spent April 6-7 at the U.S. Capitol discussing pork industry priorities including the need for year round H-2A visas due to a worker shortage for hog production. Either we do not have workers for the expansion of hog confinements or these are not jobs Iowans want.

If you care about Tama County, your neighbor or yourself, call or email Iowa Select and tell them “no more Iowa Select hog expansion in Tama County”: Ali Kraber, Director of Public Affairs, Iowa Select; cell phone 641-640-1812; email akraber@iowaselect.com.

It should be your right to enjoy a family wedding on your property without the dread of hog stench.

Pete & Berleen Wobeter

2658 K Ave, Toledo