I live on, and farm, the land my grandfather bought in 1905.

About 1957, the Mormon Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, bought thousands of acres in southeastern Sumter County, about three miles from my home. They established Deseret Farms on this land and operated it as a 40,000 head cattle feeding enterprise. A feed mill was installed and over a mile of railroad tracks were laid to ship cattle in and out and to ship corn in from the Midwest.

Hundreds of yards of feedings troughs were put in place. Thousands of steers were brought in to be fattened for sale. Over the next few years the smell and the flies became a problem. It was a terrible nuisance until the operation closed and the land sold about 1981.

Since then the public has been protected from this type nuisance by the Right to Farm Law. Now House Bill 545 is before the Georgia State Senate. This bill would greatly reduce the protection provided by existing law.

Unfortunately, the Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, both of which I am a member, are supporting HB 545. They are ignoring the wishes of thousands of family farmers and landowners.

Nobody wants a hugh cattle feeding operation or a corporate hog producing enterprise in their backyard without the protection provided by existing law.

If you share this concern, contact your state senator and urge him to oppose HB 545.

Robert A. Clay


Recommended for you