Hog farm approved by plan commission

DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – Despite opposition, a large hog farm operation was approved Thursday night by the Adams County Plan Commission.  The farm, which is operated by Ben and Daniel Girod, will go along County Road 225 North, between Piqua Road and State Road 101 in eastern Adams County.

According to Sam Smitley, the chairman of the plan commission, the farm has been a hot debate since the issue was first brought up two months ago.  At Wednesday’s meeting, more than a hundred people packed into a room to find out the farm’s fate.

The farm will house between 9,400 and 9,600 hogs at a time.  Smitley said it would be the second largest operation of its kind in the county.

Ben Girod said he had spent nearly 10 years looking for land to start a hog operation, and bought the land at a public auction.

“The hogs give us a steady income,” Ben Girod, the son of the father and son farmers, said.  The family business has taken a little hit with the price of corn, bean, and hay falling.

Many who opposed the operation live around the Pleasant Mills area where the farm will go.  The main concerns were about pollution and how the farm would impact the nearby St. Mary’s River.

“The neighbors are going to govern us pretty well,” Ben Girod said.  “We have to do everything the Indiana Department of Environmental Management says.  I have to do soil samples and take care of the smell.”

Smitley said at the meeting his concern was how manure would be handled, which was answered by the Girods who said they had plans to take all of it outside Adams County lines.

“I know with all the manure hauling was a big stepping stone,” Smitley said.  “IDEM regulates them so much that you can’t pull a wool over their eyes.  It’s all complaint driven.  Complaints are checked into and IDEM’s notified.  If something is found wrong, they could possibly be shut down and lose all their money they have in it.”

Opposition to the farm left the meeting disgruntled, but Smitley did add that the commission’s decision could be appealed in court.

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