Owners of Lone Jack cattle feedlot planning expansion say they’ve gotten threats

LONE JACK, Mo. -- The owners of a Lone Jack cattle feedlot say the heated controversy surrounding their company has led to some scary threats.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will soon decide if Valley Oaks Steak Company will be allowed to expand.

The company currently has about 900 head of cattle. The company has applied for a permit that would allow it to house just under 7,000 cattle. But not everyone in the surrounding area is on board with this expansion.

During the last few weeks, the owners of the company said they have received several threats to their personal safety.

Lone Jack Police confirmed someone shot and killed three steers and a pregnant heifer belonging to Valley Oaks in early March. The owner of Valley Oaks Steak Company also said there was an attempted break-in at his home last week.

Jake Huddleston

Jake Huddleston, one of the managers at Valley Oaks Steak Company, said the anger has recently become more personal.

"Some of our families have become involved and our homes have become involved," Huddleston said. "It is not just our business. It has hit home. It has really made an impact on how we can function daily right now."

The company has added extra security measures in recent weeks. Lone Jack police said they've also been keeping an extra eye on the area since several cattle were shot in the middle of the night.

"We have enhanced security not just here on site but also at our farms with extra patrols and things like that," Huddleston said.

Police and the Department of Natural Resources recommended that Valley Oaks management not to attend the public hearing Tuesday night.

"We were advised not to come to the meeting to possibly help mitigate some of the anger," Huddleston said.

During the heated public hearing, an estimated 600 people voiced their opinion about Valley Oaks Steak Company and their plans to expand.