It’s all about the money.
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. The Missouri Department of Natural Resource held a permit hearing in Warrensburg this evening.
We arrived at the hearing room in the Warrensburg Community Center around 3:30 p.m., two and a half hours before the schedule start time. About a dozen CAFO opponents in red t-shirts and DNR staff were already in the room. Proponents of the CAFO, under the aegis of the Missouri Cattlemens Association held a press conference in an adjacent meeting room.
By the time of the scheduled 6:00 p.m. start there were over two hundred people in a room with approximately one hundred thirty chairs. It was definitely at capacity. Another two hundred people stood outside in the hallway. DNR staff set up the sound system with a speaker in the hallway so that those outside the room could hear the proceedings. Law enforcement officers were stationed at every door.
The Missouri Cattlemens Association press conference before the meeting:
We didn’t attend the press conference. We figured we’d hear it all at the hearing. We took a few photos from the doorway and didn’t get the name of the speaker. Our mistake.
After approximately a half hour of preliminaries from DNR staff the public comment portion of the hearing started. Each individual called was allotted three minutes to speak. Most of the people in attendance and most of the speakers were opposed to granting the CAFO a permit.
After two hours the moderator announced that it was 8:00 p.m. and time to end the hearing. Then this, the only extended unrecognized outburst from the audience:
…Why don’t you explain why you let all the hired guns speak and none of the Ag guys leaders speak? Why did Woody [Cozad] and all these guys automatically get to get up and speak? And we didn’t randomly pull out everybody else’s names? Voices: That’s right. You guys didn’t explain [inaudible]. We put our faith in DNR. And you came up, you didn’t do that. [crosstalk, inaudible]….I’m not saying, you just explain yourselves. Why did you give preferential treatment to these people? [crosstalk]…
Wait, he looks familiar, but we have no idea who he is:
“…Why don’t you explain why you let all the hired guns speak and none of the Ag guys leaders speak…?”
Uh, maybe because the people who spoke were associated with entities (Powell Gardens) or were individuals who were directly affected by the CAFO? Uh, maybe because there were more of them at the hearing?
By the way, a good portion of the CAFO supporters who spoke at the hearing weren’t particular effective with their communication skills. More than one was incoherent.
Standing up in a room and protesting too much while wearing a suit jacket (No tie? Nice touch!) which looks like it probably costs more than my monthly salary doesn’t wear well on anyone’s irate sense of victimhood.
It’s all about the money.
Now that’s a CAFO (March 18, 2018)