COLUMBUS and WINCHESTER, Ind. - A central Indiana farmer is being allowed to start raising 2,000 hogs at a time despite the objections of some nearby residents.
A Bartholomew County zoning board voted 3-1 to give farmer Jeff Shoaf permission to build the confined feeding operation a couple of miles from the town of Hope.
The Republic reports nearly two dozen residents attending the board the meeting. Some raised worries that the hog facility would lower the water table in the area, cause odors and increase truck travel near their homes.
Kyle Shepherd defended his father-in-law's proposal, saying hog farms are part of country living.
The hog operation needed the board's approval because it is within a half mile of the small crossroads community of Old St. Louis, which is zoned residential.
JUDGE: INDIANA HOG FARMS PROTECTED BY LAW
A judge has ruled state law protects the operator of large hog farms from lawsuits filed by residents of an eastern Indiana county.
The lawsuits against North Carolina-based Maxwell Farms accused it of allowing hog waste to accumulate and letting noxious odors spread from the Randolph County farms.
Special Judge Marianne Vorhees ruled that Indiana's right-to-farm law is constitutional and the lawsuits could only proceed with evidence of negligence.
The Star Press of Muncie reports records show the number of hogs in Randolph County tripled in five years to more than 175,000 in 2012.
Maxwell Farms says the lawsuits represent a few people who want to discredit the hog industry. An attorney for the residents says they were living in the area before what he called industrialized facilities opened.
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