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Proposed hog farm operation draws opposition from neighbors

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Hog barns that will hold as many as 5,000 pigs that is to be built in the area of Renfroe and Bright Roads out from
McKenzie is being vigorously opposed by the neighbors in that area.
A meeting on the parking lot of Union Academy Baptist Church initiated by those in opposition to the hog
operation attracted a very large gathering that some estimated at a 100 or more people.
But not everyone that came was against the hog operation.
There was a number of people in the crowd who were there in support of Reed Austin, 23, of McKenzie, the
young man who is proposing to build the barns and manage the operation.
Alton Crossno, who opposed the operation, served as master of ceremonies. He allowed various people in the
audience to express their opinions and ask questions.
Neighbors fear it will lower their property values besides emitting an unpleasant odor.
Bobby and Joella Lundy, who live on Highway 436 in the area of where the hog barns will be located, strictly
oppose the operation.
“We’re upset about it,” said Joella Lundy. “The people in this community don’t want it.” She has written a letter
to the editor which appears on page 2A in this issue.
Austin also spoke during the meeting about his desire to start a hog farm business and the management of it.
He owns 113 acres of land where he plans to build the barns. He has to go through a permit process and has
already obtained three of the four permits required and expects to have the fourth one approved within a week or
“I had planned on building the barns by the end of the year, but it may be delayed some,” he said, noting that he
builds the barns with Tosh Farms of Henry furnishing the pigs and he then serves as the manager of the operation.
Austin, who Is also a part of the Surber farm operation near McKenzie, said he will still continue his duties there
in the raising of cotton, corn, soybeans and beef cattle.
He is to be married to Savannah Britt on May 30 and will make his home in McKenzie.
Jimmy Tosh, who is associated with Tosh Farms of Henry, spoke in support of Austin’s operation.
A confrontation between neighborhood landowner Kathy Butler and John Wright of McKenzie, who spoke in
support of Austin, brought the meeting to a close.
In Butler’s words, “It’s in my front yard.”
Lecia Webb and her husband Dr. Billy Webb, who live in the community near her parents, the Lundys, were also
opposed to the operation. She videoed the session.

Lecia Webb said the situation has been discussed with a Nashville lawyer who advised there is little that can be
done to stop the process. However, after it is built if there are problems there may be legal steps that can be taken.

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