Isabella County Community Speaks Out About Potential 4,800 Pig Farm Operation

Thousands of pigs may be moving to a community in Isabella County.

Farmer Jon Peacock has applied for a permit with the state to open a large scale pig farm in the town of Winn, which is just south of Mount Pleasant.

He is asking to keep as many as 4,800 pigs in a farm known as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). Peacock is a dairy farmer in Isabella County, and is looking to diversify his agricultural portfolio.

But some community members are concerned about their potential new neighbors.

The pigs would generate 1.64 million gallons of manure waste every year. Gary Golding lives across the street from the proposed farm on South Vandecar road and worries about the potential smell.

“The odor…that’s what would impact property values most,” said Golding. “When the idea was put out it really didn’t say the volume.”

Others are worried about the risk for environmental degradation. The site sits nearby Thatcher Creek which eventually leads to a river which ends up in Lake Huron.

With so much manure being spread some worry any mismanagement.

“CAFOs in general have been shown to adversely affect the public health of people the vicinity,” said John Mitchell, who is part of the Mid Michigan Sierra Network.

Tuesday night, the state hosted a public meeting and comment session for the permit. The room was packed with citizens who wanted to learn more and give their opinion about the project.

Peacock did not want to speak on camera to 9&10, but did say over the phone that he’s following all the rules and regulations to make sure his operation is legal and also clean.

As far as any potential odor goes, Peacock says it will be smelly once in a while, it’s just the nature of a pig farm.

If you missed the meeting but would still like to make a comment about the permit and the property, you can do so here: https://miwaters.deq.state.mi.us/miwaters/external/publicnotice/info/-2649664523616524713/comments.