A meeting erupted last night over the issue of a proposed hog farm near Stuart. Local citizens called the gathering after learning Harlan businessman Gary Weihs, who’d given up plans to build a hog confinement facility near Elkhorn, was making a deal to buy land in Adair County. Elliot Bade is a local landowner in the process of selling some land to Weihs. He says he sold the ground and that’s all he had to do with it.Residents in the Stuart area say they’re concerned about air and water quality if a big hog farm’s built on the land Weiss is buying. Vince O’Brian is a farmer who would live near the hog lot.O’Brian’s concerned about quality of land, air, water, and the land value. O’Brian has plans to build a home but it’ll be impossible if the hog farm’s put within a quarter-mile. Weihs himself says plans are more preliminary than people think.He says the sale’s not final but he’s considering an Adair County site for a farrowing operation. Weihs says his proposed hog operation is completely in line with Iowa’s farming economy.He says he’d produce weaned pigs to sell to Iowa farmers, employ 15 people and five part-timers from the start, and use the latest deep-pit construction design, putting the manure on crops. Local officials say if Weihs doesn’t get D-N-R permits for his operation, the deal to buy the land will be void. Weihs recently abandoned plans to build the 5-thousand-hog facility near Elkhorn. He’s offered tours of a Shelby County facility he runs to anyone concerned about the issue.
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