Spencer County residents voiced their concerns to state officials Wednesday night about a proposed turkey farm.
A large number of people attended the meeting at the high school auditorium for a chance to speak out about the plan and state officials got an earful.
"In a rural area, we're lacking in job opportunities, so that's a positive I could potentially be for that. But also we're concerned for our environment and all animal well being," resident Jennifer Head said.
Head is a farmer and a live stock producer herself. Her farm is just a few miles down the road from the proposed site of that turkey operation. Because of that, one of her main concerns is cross-contamination.
"Disease from manure, organic matter or mud coming from that facility that could potentially harm not only our wildlife but other livestock producers," Head said.
The plan, submitted by J.T. Parker Farms, calls for six turkey production barns to be built on the land with an operating capacity of over 56,000 turkeys. Some residents worry what would happen if the waste from that many birds got into a ground water system that's located right under the property.
"It's just kind of scary to think that we're going to raise our children and grandchildren in that area," said Edie Webber.
Webber says her main concern is her grandson, who suffers from several health issues. She's afraid living so close to such an operation will only make his asthma worse.
"It also causes birth defects on children and emotional and brain problems on adults within the surrounding area," Webber said.
Officials from IDEM explained the permit process to those attending and the requirements that must be met in order to be approved.
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