Hatlen finisher confinement proposal

My name is Jan Peterson and I want you to know I would have much preferred to be attending this meeting in person and would have, if not for the impending weather. I am the owner of the acreage located at 930 500th Street in Rembrandt, Iowa. It is my understanding the proposed hog confinement would be located literally right across the road. I realize to many, my acreage may appear to be an overgrown grove with old, weathered outbuildings, but I would like you to know there is so much more to this story.

Long before corporate farms, my great-grandfather purchased the land surrounding my acreage from the railroad. In the mid-1980s, our land was recognized as a century farm. My father was born on the land I now own. This family lived through world wars, the 1918 flu epidemic, the Great Depression, births and deaths of children — all the while working the land. When my mother died in 2014, the farmland was sold to Glen Taylor. My acreage is all that remains of the original century farm.

Although I live in Minnesota, I have spent a great deal of time these last two years at the acreage making gradual improvements. It is my plan to build a cabin on the property in the next several years with the intention of spending time there after my retirement. I recently have worked on the buildings, planted fruit trees and have plans to add several structures to the property this summer. My ultimate plan is to leave this little piece of my heritage to my kids so they would know of their connection to their grandparents and the State of Iowa.

I cannot express my deep sorrow knowing the possibility of losing this land to a hog confinement. I would be forced to sell the acreage that would be uninhabitable by animal stench. I don’t need to lecture all of you about the environmental repercussions of hog confinements. I am here to remind you of the human consequences.

My family has been a part of Scott Township since the 1880s. I would love to continue to be a part of that history and contribute in any way I can to Iowa and the family farm heritage. I am fully aware I am one voice competing with corporate influences. I hope you will hear my story that this is more than just five acres of land. Because if you don’t, a family story will end with a simple plowing over of the land.

JAN PETERSON

White Bear Lake, Minn.