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YMCA camp fights 9,200-hog farm plan

BROOKSTON, Ind. – Leaders of a northern Indiana youth camp are arguing against a farmer’s request for permission to start raising 9,200 hogs about a half mile away.

The farmer is seeking a zoning change from the White County commissioners to allow the concentrated animal feeding operation near the 600-acre YMCA Camp Tecumseh, the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/18dme7G) reported.

Camp CEO Scott Brosman said he worried about the effect of so many hogs on the camp that hosts 35,000 people a year.

“We’re not anti-agriculture,” Brosman said. “We feel the scope and size of the project is too big and too close.”

Joe Bumbleburg, an attorney for farm owner John Erickson, said the proposal was meeting all county zoning requirements.

“This is a five-generation farming family,” Bumbleburg said.

County commissioners are scheduled to vote Monday on the request.

Camp Tecumseh, along the Tippecanoe River about 20 miles north of Lafayette, hosts a variety of activities, including camps for children suffered burns and have asthma or kidney troubles.

Cadi Bien, vice president of the camp’s board, said Erickson has reassured camp officials he’ll plant trees and try to minimize odors from the hog operation.

“But our operation depends on being outside,” Bien said. “If there are odor or air problems or water quality issues, it puts at-risk our operation.”

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