The Cooper County Health Board in mid-Missouri has passed an ordinance regulating livestock manure.  The ordinance – pared back significantly from its first draft – requires a nutrient management plan from anyone applying manure.

Cooper County farmer Dean Gibson opposed the ordinance, because, he tells Brownfield, it makes it difficult to use what he considers a valuable resource.

“What’s that going to do with our supply of manure?” said Gibson.  “The supply of manure that we have to get rid of in the poultry operations are going to stay in Moniteau County or other counties rather than come up to Cooper County where we need it desperately right now.”

Susan Williams, who lives about a mile from a proposed concentrated animal feeding operation, pushed to have the ordinance passed because of her concerns about how waste from the facility would be handled.  “

“We spent months working with landowners who are going to receive the manure and we still didn’t have an agreement on land application,” said Williams.  “So, we’re pleased that the county has put that in place to make us feel more assured of that.”

The lone ‘no’ vote came from board member Susan Felton – who says state regulation of nutrient application is adequate.  “I feel like we’ve already got a regulating body that’s doing a good job, and I didn’t see a need to double regulate an industry,” said Felton.

The ordinance divided county residents, some of whom want greater regulation of CAFOs, while others feel that restrictions beyond state laws will discourage agricultural economic development.  The ordinance takes effect immediately.

Missourinet sister network Brownfield contributed this report