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Problem Solvers Investigation: Hog Farm Polluting Landowner's Creek

Posted: 5:00 PM, Feb 10, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-13 17:51:23-05
Problem Solver Hog Waste

"They've got me backed up to the wall," Boyd Louderback tells 2 Works for You.

Louderback, a property owner in Hughes County, is fed up with the hog farm across the street.

He says the property constantly floods with waste then drains onto his land.

The property is in Carson, Oklahoma just outside Dustin.

The town is so small, it's not even on the map.

It's an area just southwest of Dustin and north of Lamar in Hughes County.

In Carson, you'll find sprawling pastures full of livestock and hardworking folks like Louderback.

"This was all nothing but brush when I bought it. So, I always wanted it. I was raised on a place, we always had cows, so," Louderback said.

Carson is also home to a large hog farm just across the street from Louderback's property.

"You can smell it, so bad on the evenings sometimes you can't even come outside," Louderback said.

He says the hog waste runs off from the property and right into his creek turning the water black.

"The cows have to drink and I try to calve up here and lock them up front, but I can't because I can't have them drink out of that creek all the time," Louderback said.

Louderback tells us he is fed up and he's ready to throw away 13 years of working his land just to get away from the problem.

"Sell it, get it out. Get out of here. I mean after all the work we've put in here and I don't know if it's ever going to get any better," Louderback said.

"I mean it just makes no sense at all. We tried being a neighbor but they just don't care about being a neighbor. They just want to get the sludge off and get the waste out of their dam, and if they flood their place and flood our creeks, it's fine with them," he said.

Louderback has been trying to get something done for years.

He sent us documents showing communication about the issue with attorneys and the Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture.

He tells us he's even talked with one of the property owners in person but the problem continues.

"It's not just me who knows it," Louderback said.

Louderback's neighbor, Rick Bishop stopped to talk to us along the road in Carson.

"And they have had it running from that hill right up there to here and then down about halfway to the corner down there. They've had hog waste running this way also and that's been pretty common," Bishop said.

"They don't take care of it like they should. There's constant overflow like this," he said.

Louderback felt like nothing was being done, so he called the problem solvers here at 2 Works for You.

"You're the only ones that I know of that will help," Louderback said.

During our investigation, we found out that a lot is being done to address the issue.

"We've surveyed the area. We have had in person meetings with the responsible parties here at the department of agriculture with our agriculture environmental management services division and our general counsel to come up with a solution," says Morgan Vance with the OK State Department of Agriculture.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture started working on Louderback's complaint in June.

An inspector did find problems with the waste disposal along with other issues.

After working on the problem all summer the property owner hired a contractor to finish the clean up, but in December, there was another complaint from Louderback.

The waste was popping up in his creek yet again.

Since that last complaint, the owner has removed the hogs and is cleaning up the pig waste and selling the property.

The hogs removed from the farm were being raised for Tyson Foods.

A media representative with Tyson sent us this statement:

"We rely on independent farmers to raise hogs that meet our standards for high quality pork and to manage their operations in a responsible manner. We agreed with the farmer in December to terminate their contract for the farm in Dustin, Oklahoma. All animals owned by Tyson Foods were removed from the farm at that time."

The agriculture department says they will continue to follow the clean up of the property until the waste is no longer an issue.

If you have a problem you'd like us to look into, email the problem solvers at problemsolvers@kjrh.com

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