One man takes stand for animal agriculture

Kyle Broshears just wants to raise hogs in Jackson County, Ind., a place where he and his wife, Leah, can raise their two children surrounded by the value of farm life.

In October of last year, the Jackson County Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved the Broshears’ application, and all appeared to be falling into place for the family’s dream.

Prior to the BZA meeting, Broshears says he went door-to-door visiting with neighbors to the proposed 4,000-head finishing site, “and I didn’t leave their house until I had answered all of their questions,” Kyle says. He even gave each person he visited with a two-sided 8 ½ X 11 brochure with all of the information about the proposed operation. That information included both his and Leah’s phone numbers and email addresses for follow-up questions. There was no contact.

The Broshears felt satisfied.

And then, the tables turned

The flood gates of dissent opened during the six-hour BZA meeting where the previously silent public was reportedly loud, boisterous and emotional. Kyle knew what every objection would be, so he had a speech prepared to rebut every claim opposing his project.

As previously mentioned, Broshears’ permit application was unanimously approved.

Then the wheels fell off of Kyle Broshears’ dream wagon. After the BZA’s unanimous ruling, the Broshears learned that they (and the entire BZA board) were being sued by a group of area residents opposed to the building of a livestock facility.

Now the Broshears are entangled in an ugly court battle that is putting his family and their future against neighbors that regardless of the outcome of the trial will have long-lasting negative impact on the neighborhood makeup.

But, Kyle Broshears sees this as a battle being fought for all of animal agriculture. If he, if no one, stands up for animal agriculture against such opposition, where will U.S. animal agriculture be? “Here we are trying to build a legal operation, doing everything by the book, and in some cases even beyond what we are required to do, and these people don’t want us to do it, so they’re going to oppose it,” he says. Broshears says other young farmers have planned on building new swine facilities, but gave up the fight after opposition and even threatening phone calls started coming.

You can help

Broshears is going to fight this, but he needs help. He has the backing to build the hog operation, but not for the legal fees which currently are at $100,000, and the case has been delayed to not be heard until October.

The Broshears have established a fund raising website at www.gofundme.com/saveourbacon, where individuals and businesses are encouraged to donate (publicly or anonymously) to help the family in their battle.

As of July 14 the fund is at $39,685, with a goal of $125,000.

Click here to see a video on the Broshears' family to help them stand up for agriculture.

As Kyle Broshears says, this is more than a battle between him and his neighbors, this case could set an unfortunate precedent on the future of animal agriculture if the case has a negative outcome.

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