The Washington County Planning Commission approved four of the six proposed chicken farms in the county after a six-hour deliberation with community members.
Those approved would go to the Washington County Board for final vote. The farms would supply the Costco processing plant in Fremont.
The commission voted to approve the applications for farms near Arlington, Herman, Telebasta and Blair while denying the request for chicken farms outside Blair near County Road P30 and Highway 133 and near Herman at County Road 8 and County Road 29.
Hundreds showed up to the meeting with the people in opposition to the chicken farms handing out shirts that read “neighbors united.”
“This is not a family farm, this is a factory,” said Dusty Bell, who opposes the idea of having poultry farms in the county. “If you do the research, nothing good is going to come of this, except someone is going to make some money.”
The supporters of poultry farms include farmers and representatives from Lincoln Premium Poultry. They said the farms will help the local economy and their families.
“This isn’t something that people should be worried about,” said Jessica Kolterman of Lincoln Premium Poultry. “It’s something that’s going to be an opportunity to grow the tax base in the county to bring more revenue into the county and it’s an opportunity for families to come back to their farms.”