As a Farm Bureau member, the victim of one of the six Park Farms broiler grow-out operations now unable to sell my home for its market value, I do hope that Farm Bureau realizes it must treat all its members the same.
For years, I called attention to the plight of our situation by attending meetings in Columbus on this issue, but to no avail.
Perhaps now with the entrance of the Humane Society of the United States, Ohio will wake up and declare a two-tier system of animal industry: those requiring permits being called commercial, and prohibited from enjoying zoning abatements.
There are serious medical issues near confinement operations. In 2002, my husband was recuperating after having cataract surgery, when the barns owned by Park Farms located directly across from our home were cleaned out. As a result, the fungi and viruses came our way. My husband became ill, was taken to the hospital and died Dec. 2, 2002.
You would think this was coincidental, except for the following year when the same exact thing happened. This time, it was my neighbor to the north that was taken ill.
I was in Galena for Thanksgiving and when I got home, I received a call from a worried son in Kentucky asking me to check on his mother. I found her very ill, called the rescue squad and she was taken to the hospital, where she remained for close to three months with some type of bacterial infection.
I am delighted that some organization with some clout will come into Ohio and protect the existing homes from this mass invasion of confinement operations. I contend we would be better off subsidizing small- and medium-sized farms and creating a two tier system of animal industry. This would protect the personal property rights for everyone, as Farm Bureau claims they do, but which they failed to do in my case.
Our home will be auctioned off June 25. I am living with my daughter while recuperating from two surgeries. I am hopeful that someone will step up to the plate of responsibility on the issue of my home and property.
Perhaps a pipe dream, but with the entrance of the Humane Society of the United States, perhaps not.
Mary G. Gibson
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