Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.
Until recently, Sena McKnight lived in the middle of several dairy farms outside Twin Falls, Idaho.
"We moved here six years ago, and at the time there was not much development. Two years ago, Hank Hafliger's dairy started up, a mile to the west of my old house. He's permitted for 7,500 cows. Then, just across the street, Jack Tul's dairy was permitted for 4,500 head of cows. In this one-mile radius there's more than 12,000 cows on a confined animal feeding operation; confined being that they don't pasture the cows, they just feed them.
"The first year the Haflingers' fairy started up, the odors were beyond description - horrible, nauseating, waking you up all hours of the night. Even with the house closed, the odors would just seep in. You'd walk out of the house and you'd cover your nose and mouth, just knowing the flies would swarm you.
"I also had liquid effluent sprayed on my property from a center pivot, and that was pretty much the breaking point. We sold our house to a dairy operation after about nine months of haggling. This has gone on with several neighbors. We were essentially forced out because no one else in their right mind would buy this property.
"We're not against dairies or dairy operators, but no person should have the right to infringe upon another person's rights and take away the quality of life."
Copyright © 2002 HCN and Guy Hand