Dis­ap­pointed in chicken farm cov­er­age

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL -

FROM: JOHN KILBY JR. COLORA

I have been a reader of the Ce­cil Whig and all the other lo­cal news pub­li­ca­tions since 1961, and I have found the Whig to al­ways have pro­vided fair, un­bi­ased news cov­er­age.

I have ob­vi­ously seen the paper cover very con­tro­ver­sial is­sues con­cern­ing county govern­ment, with many re­lated to zon­ing mat­ters. Your cov­er­age, and also the cov­er­age of the two lesser pub­li­ca­tions, of the Horst-Per­due poul­try hous- ing con­tro­versy has been ex­tremely poor and bi­ased.

The fu­ture of the few vi­able, re­main­ing farm­ing op­er­a­tions heree is be­ing threat­ened by a well-led mob of anti-farm­ing ac­tivists who have im­ported a so-called pub­lic health ex­pert. Sadly from my alma mater, she came to sup­port their claim of threats to schools, homes and busi­nesses near the Horst farm, and now have ex­panded to ad­dress said threats to the en­tire county.

The county coun­cil and the au­di­ence had to sit through al­most two hours of largely un­sci­en­tific and un­sup­ported claims, ex­ag­ger­a­tions and in­ac­cu­ra­cies. For ex­am­ple, her map showed a (con­fined an­i­mal feed­ing op­er­a­tion) near my home, which hasn’t housed a hen since 1992.

This is just a con­tin­u­a­tion of their cam- paign, which sadly enough has at­tracted lit­tle at­ten­tion from the hand­ful of mega farm­ers, CAFOs, etc., that could be put out of busi­ness if their sug­gested “reme­dies” are en­acted by the plan­ning com­mis­sion and the county coun­cil. Also sad is the lack of farmer or­ga­ni­za­tion ac­tiv­ity.

The Whig has too scarcely cov­ered the farm­ers’ side of this fight, lim­it­ing cov­er­age to a few lines but print­ing page af­ter page of the pro­test­ers’ pro­pa­ganda. Some­times those rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of the Horsts, Per­due and Ce­cil County farm­ers are not even cov­ered at all. The other two pub­li­ca­tions have printed ab­so­lutely no pro-farmer in­for­ma­tion.

This is not what we ex­pect from jour­nal­ism. If the Whig fa­vors re­stric­tions on mod­ern farm­ing here, let them put it on the edi­to­rial page.

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