The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 14, 2012

Moark plans to add 1 million chickens in Newton County

Residents say they are not up for a fight this time

NEOSHO, Mo. — Some Newton County residents who opposed past expansions by Moark say they will not fight the latest initiative by the egg company.

In April, Moark sent a letter to residents living near the site where it has proposed 12 new layer and pullet houses for up to 1 million birds. Known as the School Farm site, the 42 acres are at the northwest corner of Route D and Owl Road, southeast of Neosho.

In 2005, Dave Boyt was a member of Southwest Missouri Citizens Against Local Moark Expansion, which unsuccessfully challenged Moark’s proposal to expand from 1.3 million to 3.9 million birds. He and other opponents cited a history of pollution by the company and pointed to concerns about odors and water quality, which they said would affect their ability to use their homes and would undermine their property values.

Boyt said there is no organized opposition to the latest proposal, and he attributes that to the lack of success area residents had during the previous go-round.

“People get tired of beating their heads against a wall,” Boyt said recently. “We knew during the earlier expansion what we were up against. We knew that the chances of stopping the expansion or getting even some concessions were absolutely minuscule.”

Boyt’s relatives own land near Moark, and his brother, Peter Boyt, is one of those who recently received a letter from the company.

Moark stated in the letter that it was contacting all residents who live within 4,500 feet (nearly nine-tenths of a mile) of the chicken houses and waste sites it plans to build. There are no birds at the School Farm site now, and old chicken houses on the property will be demolished to make way for new buildings, the company said.

Moark stated that all waste generated by the birds will be collected and transported to a manure holding and composting building, where it will be kept dry and outside air will be blown over it to further dry it. The dry manure will be moved to a nearby composting operation or can be hauled off and applied to farm fields, where it is supposed to be spread according to state regulations.

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