A Powesheik County farmer is speaking out after a town hall meeting Monday that raised concerns about nine applications for new livestock facilities in the county. Brooklyn area farmer Tony Kreigel says he doesn’t consider the proposed operations to be “factory farms.” Kreigel says, “The operations that are being requested to be built are family owned. Yes, they are, in some cases, corporate ownerships and corporate sponsorships. But most of the people who are wanting to build these are tying to expand their own farming operations.” H
e says they want to expand their operations to be able to bring in the next generation of farmers or they want to add value to their grain by selling it through livestock.
Kreigel says the new operations can bring important jobs to the county. He says it depends on what type of operation, but he says dairy operations bring the most jobs. Kreigel says the average 300-cow dairy can create an average of eight jobs in the community.
Kreigel says the declining number of farmers requires existing operations to get larger. He says that’s apparent in the declining enrollment in schools and says the business of farming is static as there’s only so much land to farm. He says they can add value to the business by selling the grain through livestock and ethanol production. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement held the meeting Monday, but Kreigel says he and other farmers were not allowed to speak.