The Lake Improvement Association thanks WDC for its decision to relocate its planned hen layer farm facility outside the Grand Lake St. Marys watershed.
Here is the press release issued by WDC:
WDC, LLC. announced today that they will be relocating their planned chicken layer farm outside the Grand Lake St. Mary’s Watershed.
“While we believe that the facility was well-planned and presented no risk to the watershed, after thoughtful deliberation and out of respect for the community we have decided to delay and relocate the construction of the facility,” said Tim Weaver of Weaver Brothers Eggs, a partner of WDC.
The partners of WDC are three family owned and operated farms with many years of farming experience. They include: Weaver Brothers, a third generation family farm; Division Farms, a group of local family farmers; and Cooper Farms, a second generation family farm. “Our families have had a lifelong focus on environmental stewardship and being active members of the communities,” said Gary Cooper of Cooper Farms, a partner of WDC. “We feel this decision aligns with our family values and culture.” It is this tradition that led the group to reevaluate the planned location for the farm.
“This organization has proven its value system as they took into consideration the concerns of the community, one in which Cooper Farms has played an integral role,” said Jared Ebbing, Mercer County Community and Economic Development Director. “The sensitive issues that surrounded this specific site lead them to make a very difficult decision. This is a tremendous project for the county and we hope to have a chance to work with this group again, in a more suitable location.” The state of the art cage-free egg-layer farm, will produce and carton cage-free and niche market eggs once constructed in it’s new location.
Mercer County Commissioner Dr. Greg Homan also shared his appreciation for the change. “Cooper Farms has a solid history of being a responsible agricultural producer and employer in Mercer County,” said Homan. “I strongly support their efforts, as a company that values community relationships and environmental stewardship, to pursue an alternate location for the proposed facility outside the watershed. I welcome their continued investment in Mercer County as a valued partner in our agricultural industry.”
While the farm would not have kept manure in the watershed, the perception was that it would not help the goal to improve Grand Lake St. Mary’s. “We realize and appreciate all of the positive efforts the lake restoration committee has exerted for years to improve the environment and well-being of our local community,” said Cooper.