Several gather to hear verdict on Calhoun Farms LLC matrix

Lynne Gentry, a Calhoun County resident of 40 years addressing the board with her concerns and request to deduct points from the matrix. (Jeri Vanderheiden/GRAPHICADVOCATE PHOTO)

The Calhoun County District Court Room in Rockwell City was filled with approximately 80 citizens, not just from Calhoun County, Friday evening.

All were awaiting the topic of Calhoun Farms LLC and the approval or denial of the matrix they have submitted. Among those who spoke was Jen Sorenson, Communications Director for Iowa Select Farms stated, “We’re an all Iowa company and have been farming in this county for years.” She continued to say, “According to ISU economist, Dermot Hayes, a well renowned Iowa State University economist, this farm will generate $4.7 million annually in local economic output.”

On the other side, Lynne Gentry who lives in the only home in Section 21 of Lake Creek Township, stood before the board with her concerns of this topic stating, “A mile to the east of me are 3 hog confinement buildings, a little less than a mile south of me are 9, across the Section is another large one to the west and just recently 2 more have been added northeast of me. So I can honestly say, I am surrounded by hogs.”

She continued on to state that, “When the first 3 went up, the farmer’s wife across the way would call me and say, ‘ya might not wanna hang out your laundry because it’s gonna smell, we’re going to be spreading’. The guys that do this now, don’t call. Our neighborliness has kind of disappeared.” “You guys are really in charge. You have, under the law, the ability to deduct points and you understand what that does. It turns it over to the DNR. I think we need to, Calhoun County needs to be a leader, as a community working together to do the best we can for everyone.”

Read the full story in the February 7 edition.