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Letters, Jan. 16

Support Uproot Meats

I am writing to support Uproot Meats and their quest for a permit to operate a processing facility at their farm. I live in Ashland, not far from the farm, and I am a customer of Uproot’s Community Supported Agriculture. I have found their products to be amazing.

I have read some of the opposition to the permit the farm is seeking. I have to confess that it has not thrown much light on the subject.

For example, claiming that the farm has caused traffic and caused a gate to be left open, to the detriment of neighbors, is beside the point. That would be a problem regardless of the activities Uproot proposes to engage in. There are solutions to this problem that do not involve denying the permit. In fact, denying approval will not solve that problem.

Similarly, I have not heard any actual facts about whether there are too many pigs for the carrying capacity of the land, or whether adequate steps have been taken to deal with their effluents. And I am not sure how these issues are related to the proposed permit. The same is true of the chickens. Citing the number of chickens that could be processed in a given year does nothing to inform me as to whether this would be a problem for the health and safety of the neighborhood. Critics make it sound as though Tyson Foods had moved in next door. This does not seem realistic. Are there plans for dealing with the consequences of chicken processing? Will those plans harm the neighbors?

On the flip side of my concerns, Uproot is attempting to supply a real community need for local, free-range meat, to community members who are happy to receive the bounty. It does not make sense to condemn this effort out of hand. I am much more interested in discovering what the actual problems are, if any, and finding solutions to those problems so that this business can thrive in our community.

Not everything is a zero-sum game. In fact, hardly anything really is.

Allison Mendel


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