(8-9-17) A public meeting was was held at the Mercer County Central Services Building last night by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to discuss the proposed MVP Dairy facility to be located at 7124 U.S. 33 northwest of Neptune on 82 acres with six barns. Located in northern Mercer County,adjacent to Hasis Rd and the south side of U.S. Route 33. This location is outside of the Grand Lake St. Marys watershed and will be in the St. Marys River watershed.
The farm will have 4,500 mature dairy cows and will also include storage and treatment components for the manure that would be generated by the facility.
150 people were in attendance at the meeting, with at least 20 individuals expressing concerns about the facility.
Some of the concerns mentioned in a Lima News story:
- decreased property values and potential health risks
- health concerns, specifically from potential air pollution from CAFO
- possible water contamination,diseases that could arise from ingesting the tainted water
- amount of water the cows need would cause the wells to run dry
Kyle VanTilburg, VanTilburg Farms Inc. responded to the Outlook’s request about the hearing last night and some of the concerns shown by those in attendance about the planned farm.
- So it’s tough to hear some of the criticism that was voiced at the public hearing, but we’ve put our trust in the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s permitting process. While the permit addresses many of the concerns that were brought up by neighbors and the community, the comments from the hearing also give us the opportunity to hear those concerns and focus on the aspects of our dairy that will help us be the good neighbors and stewards of the land in Mercer County that we plan to be.
- Mercer County has a strong and vibrant agricultural heritage. The people here care for their community, their farms, their livelihoods and their environment. My family, that has been farming here for over a century, is no different.
- With the McCartys, we’re bringing together two fourth-generation farming families that have been recognized and awarded for innovations and improvements in the dairy industry, as well as environmental stewardship and nutrient management. Both our families have a strong and passionate shared vision for providing high-quality dairy products from cows giving the best possible care, while protecting and improving our environment, and being upstanding and engaged neighbors and members of our community. That’s who we plan to be, and we’ll do our absolute best to uphold this commitment to ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our community.
Mercer County long known as one of the top agriculture counties in Ohio is no stranger to dairy farms over the years. The new farm is being built to produce milk to meet demand for Dannon dairy products. Estimated job growth is expected to create 35 new jobs, plus a visitor’s center is planned for the dairy.