MONTICELLO, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana county approved plans Monday
for a 9,200-hog farm near a youth camp whose leaders fear the farm's odors
will impact life at the popular camp.
The White County Commissioners approved a zoning petition allowing for the
farm's construction following two hours of testimony for and against the
farm, which will be about a half-mile from the YMCA-operated Camp
Six children wearing YMCA T-shirts who attended the meeting carried signs,
one of which accused the hog pig industry of being bullies.
The camp's activities include camps for children with asthma and kidney
troubles, and those who have suffered burns. The 90-year-old facility
attracts more than 35,000 campers a year.
Local farmer John Erickson plans to build two large hog barns about a
half-mile from Camp Tecumseh, which is about 20 miles north of Lafayette.
The Journal & Courier reported that Camp Tecumseh CEO Scott Brosman told
the commissioners he's convinced the farm will cause water contamination
or odors to waft over the 600-acre camp, impacting its outdoor activities.
"That's our biggest concern," Brosman said last week. "If people start and
continue to notice odors, the chances of them coming back diminish
The commissioners' 3-0 vote changes the zoning for a 7-acre tract from
agricultural to agricultural-industrial — a designation that allow for a
more intense agricultural use of the land. That will allow Erickson to
build a concentrated animal feeding operation capable of housing nearly
10,000 hogs in two buildings.
Before Monday's approval by the county commissioners, Erickson had already
received a state permit for his planned hog farm and approval from the
White County Plan Commission for the project.
Heading into Monday's meeting, Erickson had assured camp officials that
the hogs — and their manure — would have no effect on Camp Tecumseh.
Erickson, a fifth-generation farmer, spoke briefly at Monday's meeting,
calling the big hog farm a natural extension of his longtime family farm.
Erickson's attorney, Joe Bumbleburg, told commissioners the hog farm
represents the type of farming the county wants. He noted that the county
approved a plan in 2011 calling for entrepreneurial farming.
"Now I'm asking you to allow the ordinance to do its work," he said.