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A company is in the process of creating an “up to” 6,999 beef cattle confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) on 400 acres on U.S. 50 in western Johnson County, just west of Powell Gardens.

“Say No to Valley Oaks”

A number of neighbors are not at all happy.

A few of the comments [pdf] on the CAFO in Johnson County submitted to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources:

“…I am totally AGAINST this business venture because of the odor coming from such an operation. I would think it would be better for you to put this operation in a more remote area where there are not so many people living close by. I absolutely LOVE where I live, and would hate to see it ruined by said operation being located so close to where I live….I would hate to have my life ruined by having to smell animal manure and rotting flesh every.single.day….”

“…We have been impacted already by water pressure issues affecting our homes. Due to a lack of zoning in our area or ordinance governing this type of operation Mr. Ward has failed to provide surrounding landowners with information that could assure a responsible business owner is moving forward with this project…”

“…Plus the impact it will have on 50 Highway near the entrance to their operation. The semi-trailers have to take up to two lanes of the highway in order to even turn into their property… Another concern is that if they have problems turning onto their property from Highway 50, they could begin traveling down our neighborhood road, County Rd. 800. We, s residents, have paid, out of our own pockets, to have these roads paved and these trucks would surely tear up our roads and cost more in upkeep…”

“…Operations of 7[,]000 head of cattle are designated Class 1-A facilities and are subject to regular monitoring of odor emissions. If you have ever been around a feed lot of any kind, I’m sure you understand the problem with odor…How can having ONE cow less than 7,000 prevent these adverse effects? Is this being done on purpose to void regulation?…”

“…This will create ground water contamination which none of use need or want…”

“…The run off of the chemicals and blood from the laughter house facility, and with increase of up to 6,999 cattle, would go into the ground water, creeks, streams, waterway, aquifers, and wells in the area. A major natural waterway runs through the middle of the facility’s property….The use of water for the facility, due to having a 3″ water line at this time, is affecting the water pressure of nearby farms, and will drastically cause water pressure to drop with the need of more water as the facility enlarges…”

“…The odor will be unbearable. Last year we could smell the feedlot with the south wind. If that was only 500 head, 7,000 head will bring an unbearable smell….No matter how much of this they think they can control, there is no feasible way to house that many head of cattle in confinement without thee issues becoming a problem…”

“…ODOR. I am well aware this will fall into the 1B class CAFO facility where the only requirements are a 2,000 ft buffer from the nearest occupied residence (640.710 RSMo) Valley Oaks is smart enough to this as well and the very reason the proposed animal numbers are 6,999. 1 more head (7,000 Head) would put them as a 1A class CAFO which does require them to permit under the Departments Air Pollution Control Program….”

“…This is not good farming practice. No matter what anyone says. It may make sense money wise, but will have devastating environmental impacts, and destroy our land values…”

“…To consider approval of such a facility that has the potential of damaging or destroying the ecological wonder that is Powell gardens is not reasonable in my opinion…”

“…I am a geologist and I am aware that the aquifers in this area are mainly shallow Pennsylvanian Period sandstones and limestones, which because of their shallow nature are quite subject to groundwater contamination. These shallow aquifers are important to the rural people living in this are and undue risks of contamination should not be taken…”

And on and on and on. There are hundreds of comments, the vast majority are negative.

There will be a public hearing in Warrensburg on April 3rd:

March 20, 2018
Department seeks public comments on draft water permit for Valley Oaks Steak Co.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MARCH 20, 2018 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comments concerning the application for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or water permit, for Valley Oaks Steak Company LLC, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation permit number MOG010872.

The department will hold a public hearing from 6 to 8 p.m., on April 3, in the Multi-Room BC of the Warrensburg Community Center, 445 E. Gay St., Warrensburg.

The hearing is to understand public concerns about Valley Oaks Steak Company LLC’s application for a new NPDES permit that authorizes the operation of the CAFO. Valley Oaks Steak Company LLC is located in Johnson County at 1921 W. 50 Highway, Lone Jack.

The focus of the hearing will be on whether the application for a new NPDES permit that authorizes the operation of the CAFO complies with permit requirements. For more information about the public hearing or Valley Oaks Steak Company LLC’s application for an NPDES permit, visit https://dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/cafo or contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Water Protection Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-1300 or by mail at PO Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176.


You can bet it will be well attended.


Now that’s a CAFO (March 18, 2018)