Neighbors band together for change in Pike County over setbacks at CAFO

Residents in Pike County, Illinois met Thursday night in Griggsville to discuss how a hog confinement operation is going to change their lives.

Many of the concerns centered around the set back area of the facility and what it will mean for life in this rural area.

"About 4/5ths of this setback area doesn't even belong to the people who are going to build the hog facilities. About half of the residential segment does not belong to the people who want this hog facility. So all this striped area ( refer to photo above ) was land that's going to be in this setback that doesn't belong to the people building."

So says Barbara Rissley. She along with Elaine Hobson, met with Pike County residents concerned with the setback area for a new hog confinement operation near New Salem.

" As we were fighting the hog facility, the proposed hog facility, we were told that everything they did was legal," said Rissley. "That we need to try to get to the state legislature and see if we can change some of the setback rules that seem to be unfair to the landowners around the proposed hog facilities. So that's what the meeting for tonight is about."

Rural Pike County resident Mike Mohrman are upset because he says he has yet to be told what the legal boundaries are for the setback.

He says, " The closest answer I got was one of the representatives from the corporation who had indicated that it was actually the property boundary. That property boundary now sits about 75 feet from my bedroom window. That being the case they could potentially apply that within 75 feet of the residence."

Also in attendance was Nick Anderson with the Illinois Livestock Development Group representing livestock producers, who say that the rules for setbacks are clearly established by law.

" The setback that are in existance now were established back in 1996 when the act was formally introduced," says Anderson. "Livestock producers have been abiding by that rule some 15 years now."

Barb, Elaine and the others hope to work with other groups to get the laws changed regarding this issue and tonight was the first of hopefully many successful steps to come.

The group is calling itself Families Against Rural Messes in Pike County...or in other words FARM in Pike County.

It will meet once a month starting next month.

If you are interested in learning more you can contact Barb and Elaine in the following ways:

Barb Rissley: (217) 430-3160 or at

Elaine Hobson: (217) 473-4984 or at