The Wright County Board of Supervisors rezoned land on Highway 17 Monday from agricultural to industrial in an initial step in allowing North Carolina’s Prestage Farms to build a $240 million pork processing plant on the site.
Eagle Grove City Council Member Mike Weland supports the project. “We’ve had declining population in this county for years. This is a game changer for a town of 3,500 people. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” according to Weland.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Tom Hoyt who lives near one of the county’s chicken growing facilities pulled two fly paper ribbons from a plastic bag.
“The flies you go outside the are all over you, you can’t sit outside and enjoy the nice summertime, when you go to the pot in the bathroom you sit in the kitchen to eat gotta you have a fly swatter, you have to have a fly swatter every place in the house,” Hoyt said. Hoyt believes the pork plant would add to the fly population as well contaminate the groundwater.
Around 50 members of Citizens For Community Improvement held a protest on the courthouse lawn prior to the meeting. The environmental watchdog group opposes additional hog confinements that will be necessary to supply pigs to the plant. Prestage has said it hopes to employ as many as 900 people. There also were a number of supporters at the meeting including several farmers who are interested in producing hogs for the facility.
Prestage Farms of North Carolina has said it will employ as many as 900 people at the proposed plant.
Thanks to Pat Blank, Iowa Public Radio