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Uproot owners respond

Our small, female-owned and operated family farm offers a solution to a very serious food drought issue in Southern Oregon’s EFU farmland community, evidenced by the fact that our products are constantly sold out, with an ongoing wait list. Our satisfied CSA members and local food champions are all the proof we need that Ashland is hungry for healthy meat.

Bob Dylan said it best, “money doesn’t talk, it screams.” The unfounded arguments of harm we have caused made by the appellant and neighbors, along with inability to respond to our invitations to the farm, boasts of self-serving, self-righteous motives to protect real estate investments and unknown personal motives.

The avalanche of misinformed accusations and uneducated opinions brought forth by the appellant and neighbors have been quite unsettling and harmful. The “right to farm not right to harm” concept goes both ways. Freedom of speech is not free of consequences. We are grateful for our Jackson County Hearings Officer’s unbiased ability to address the clearly unfounded and uneducated accusations the appellant has formulated. For a thorough explanation addressing reasonable concerns and fact-based transparency on our practices, please visit our blog page at www.uprootmeats.com/blog.

We have had to deal with disgruntled neighbors from day one. Even before any animals arrived on the farm, it was clear we were not welcomed. The negativity we have endured has become normalized, often making us feel like we are hostages on our own property.

We respect and appreciate Hearings Officer Roger Pearce’s fair, fact-based, thorough and informed examination of our application for a requested on-site chicken processing facility on our Ashland EFU farm land. Our understanding of the denial decision was based on the fact that, unlike Oregon counties such as Lane, Douglas and Multnomah, livestock is not considered farm crop processing in Jackson County, and therefore we applied for the incorrect license. We also understand from his detailed decision and final order, it appears to us, we have in fact lined up all requirements to gain approval once the type of license needed is determined.

Between the Jackson County Planning Commission’s current and immediate attention to the revision of farm use code and update needed to allow small farms like us to process chickens farmed on EFU zoned land like other regions of the state, and the completion of our appeals process at state level, we are very confident our farm’s processing facility will find its place in Jackson County’s legal system. Our next confident step forward will be to continue the appeals process at the Land Use Board of Appeals.

In the meantime, we are currently licensed to sell our meats retail and are excited to embrace our growing Ashland locavore community at our upcoming 2019 Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market season. We welcome the Chinese zodiac’s year of the pig, continuing our meat pioneering efforts, matching their energetic and enthusiastic outlook on life and all of it’s challenges.

Krista Vegter and Sonia Consani are co-owners of Uproot Meats LLC.