Archive for Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bill aimed at increasing swine production facilities advances

February 2, 2012


— The Kansas House on Thursday advanced a bill aimed at making it easier to establish corporate hog farms.

Currently, state law requires a countywide vote on swine production facilities.

Under House Bill 2502, county commissioners could approve or reject resolutions on hog farms. Then an election on the issue could be held if 5 percent of the number of voters in the previous secretary of state election signed a protest petition.

Supporters of the bill said it would help the economy by attracting more hog farms and make the rules for approving hog farms and dairy operations the same.

State Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, said she visited with the ambassador of Vietnam and that country needs to expand agricultural operations to feed its fast-growing population.

But opponents said they thought the current law is better because it gives residents an automatic vote before a swine production operation is put in place.

The measure was accepted on a voice vote and requires another vote before being sent to the Senate for consideration.


blindrabbit 3 years, 8 months ago

Am I missing something here; swine production in Kansas counties and the need to increase swine production in Vietnam. Understand the need for both, but the connection is missing?

Jennifer Dropkin 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, blindrabbit, there's a lot missing. The Brownback administration wants to turn over western Kansas--a "sacrifice zone"--to corporate pig, corporate poultry, and corporate dairy, based on using "a docile workforce" and water from the Ogallala Aquifer, and they are ramming this bill through quickly. Check out the Kansas Rural Center Legislative and Policy Watch Report of January 27, 2012, at

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Can we say de-regulation which has helped any industry and brings on forced taxpayer bailouts.

Take a drive on the interstate going through Iowa.....

blindrabbit 3 years, 8 months ago

I drive through far Western Kansas quite frequently, hog operations already along US56, hold your breath, much worse than cattle feedlots. I'd rather see Buffalo (bison) Commons, and leave the aquifer alone. Or better yet, leave W.K. to coal burning power plants, center pivots, cotton farming, rattlesnake hunts and retirement communities (gulags) for displaced Repub. candidates.

billbodiggens 3 years, 8 months ago

Just wondering. . . where along 56 in Western Kansas are there large hog operations?

deec 3 years, 8 months ago

What in the world are you talking about? Is it possible for you to address the actual topic of any article on the forum?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

How many of our public education tax dollars will directed to corporate hog farming aka corporate welfare.

Gov Sam Brownback is NOT a fiscal conservative instead a tax dollar moocher for big business.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

SO, WHO’S HIRING? | Most industries still struggle to recover from recession

Most industries struggle, but health care jobs are booming

Overall employment market improved in KC last year, but just a bit. The medical field, however, continues its boom.

Read more here:

RoeDapple 3 years, 8 months ago

"You have to be going to a pretty awful place if getting there is half the fun." - Miss Piggy

Terry Sexton 3 years, 8 months ago

My friend, Gus, used to run a pig farm. First thing he did was convert an old silo into a styscraper called Pork Place. Rickety thing collapsed & all the injured were transported by hambulance.
Gus never sausage a thing before. Couldn't figure out what happened so he just chalked it up to The Pig Bang Theory. One poor sow lost all of her legs & had to get a new gig as a groundhog.
The whole thing made him ache so he rubbed down with oinkment & headed to the park for a pignic. Sow-r dough sammiches, yum. Gus might be a slow loiner but he knew that job was hogwash & that's when he joined the navy. Oinkers Aweigh! (***)

sad_lawrencian 3 years, 8 months ago

[sarcasm]This is a good use of the legislators' time.[/sarcasm]

littlexav 3 years, 8 months ago

If it distracts them from the life-at-conception constitutional amendment that will apparently make accidental miscarriages "reckless endangerment" then I'm all for bills like this.

blindrabbit 3 years, 8 months ago

billbodiggens: Swine barns in clusters of 10 south of highway 56 near Satanta, Sublette or Moscow, can't remember which. They support the large Seaboard packing plant in Liberal. That plant is very large and utilizes production from SW Kansas and Oklahoma Panhandle.

billbodiggens 3 years, 8 months ago

The Seaboard packing plant is just east of Guymon, Oklahoma. It is not in Liberal. National Beef has a plant in Liberal. Clusters of buildings 10 miles south of the highway somewhere is a long ways from all along US 56. Are you sure you are not looking at mega-dairies or cattle feed lots. From a distance of 10 miles it is rather hard to know just what is going on. There is some confined hog operations all over western Kansas, but not a real problem to the surrounding cities. The farmers are tickled to death to sell their crops to the feeders of both cattle and swine. Guess I have been through there just a bit more that others. Oh, don't forget that the plant in Guymon also takes hogs from Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. Its a different world down there. It is not confined to just one state.

Robert Rauktis 3 years, 8 months ago

Industrial pig operations: Don't know why they are called farms. Pollute the water and reek the air. Employ foreign workers, who, with their families, then require social services dumped on poor rural communities. They were tossed out of Nebraska and limited in Iowa. Pig farms wasted North Carolina which hasn't that far to drop. Their best feature...washing feces from 10,000 hogs into open storage lagoons. You'd like to use those nutrients, but there is so much antibiotics that no self respecting germ (except maybe Kansas legislators) would live in them.

gudpoynt 3 years, 8 months ago

This piece of legislation seems pretty bad on many levels.

First off, it takes away the vote of entire county populations and puts it in the hands of a few commissioners. If the residents want a vote, then the onus is on them to organize a petition to do so. The proposed legislation is less democraic than the current one. Simple as that.

Which might be worth considering if it resulted in some undeniably beneficial utility for the whole county. But somehow I don't think that building more corporate hog farms should qualify.

They use big bank accounts to push prices down, making it harder for small to medium sized local operations to compete. The standards for animal care are far less. The quality of meat is typically much lower and less healthy. They tend to be magnets for undocumented workers. They concentrate pollution. And they smell like excrement all day and night.

You know, the legislature could be working on a project to incentivize local farmers to build small to medium sized operations that humanely raise healthy pork for Kansas families. And they could be doing it without disenfranchising entire county populations.

Instead they are doing this. Boo.

You're trying to benefit all Kansans by incentivizing pork production, and the the best idea you can come up with is to make it easier for corporate hog farms to stink up our country side and sell cheap, unhealthy pork to Vietnam?

Imagination fail. Legislator fail.

You want to help Kansas residents and spur growth in agriculture and meat industries? How about dropping sales tax on all food grown or raised in KS.

You support "buy local". Win. You support farmers. Win. You cut taxes for everybody. Win. And you keep the corporate hog farms out. Win (for everybody except the corporate hog farm stakeholders -- which may or may not include KS reps and senators on the short lists of lobbyists).

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