LETTERS: Manure piles create holiday havoc

To the Editor:

Trucks have been hauling manure into a field just south of our property in rural Peabody. This has occurred twice in the past couple of weeks with the last load coming in today.

At first we thought we could just deal with it as it shouldn't last too long. Well, little did we realize the big impact it would have on our lives.

Today I called Doug Sharp, manager of Scully Estates, who owns the land where this has occurred.

First I asked him if he had any consideration for his neighbors? He, of course, said he did. I then followed with, "Then why would you leave manure that has been hauled in piled in a field for the wind to blow the odor directly into our house over a holiday weekend?"

Sharp then asked how long I have lived in my house and stated that "obviously you haven't lived on a farm before."

At this point in the conversation I was getting heated and informed him I have lived on a farm all my life, but have never encountered rude neighbors such as himself. I asked him if he would like for me to have them haul a load of manure to his house and let it set over the holiday weekend. He did inform me that it wasn't necessary to do that.

To make a long, lengthy conversation short, Sharp assured me that a "farmer" would be out today to disc the field and the manure should no longer be a problem.

Let me just tell you that it is currently 11:30 p.m. and no such "farmer" has arrived.

We had a guest come to our house today who refused to stay and have dinner as previously arranged because the odor was so intense.

I have closed every window in our home and have turned on the air conditioner to help keep the odor out. Of course, every time someone opens the door to go in or out the odor arrives.

I have not one problem with "organic" farming, but when it effects my household, I do have a tendency to get irritated. My four children are not able to go outside and play because the smell makes them gag.

I am not sure how my neighbors to the south feel about the odor, but I know that there is a house for sale just one-half mile away from ours (to the northwest) and I think, "Who would want to live near a place that smells worse than a feedlot on a rainy day?"

Sharp informed me that this only happens once every three years, but to be frank, that is too often when he does not have any consideration for his neighbors.

I did call the county commissioner and KDHE and reported this odor. KDHE assured me they would investigate this matter.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not requesting that Sharp "get permission" from his neighbors. But I would like him to have courtesy and not leave a huge pile of manure in a field for days, especially on a holiday weekend.

For those of you reading this letter and thinking what is she complaining about, just imagine a 50-gallon barrel of manure sitting on your front porch for days — how you would feel?

If you are reading this Doug Sharp, I thank you for your prompt attention to the "farmer" taking care of this odor and also for ruining our holiday weekend.

Mrs. Mark Stout

Rural Peabody