Some neighbors of Lone Jack feed operation concerned about potential expansion

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LONE JACK, Mo. -- The battle over a proposed animal feeding operation on the Jackson-Johnson County line in Missouri is heating up.

Signs are now popping up all over Lone Jack, with neighbors both for and against the big expansion planned at Valley Oaks Steaks. The company currently operates a feed operation with about 900 head of cattle. The new plan calls for a confined animal feeding operation, or CAFO, with 7,000 cows producing 290 tons of manure a day.

Neighbors are worried about the vast environmental impacts from smell to flooding and runoff contamination, and the long-term impact to the community and property values. A recent study suggested the CAFO could reduce home and land values by 50 to 90 percent for properties within three miles of Valley Oaks.

"We are farmers. We like farming. We are business people. We agree with handling business. What we don't agree with is affecting our community's health, our children's health, having outrageous odors and smells and different chemicals and things in our waterway, into our air, passing through to our wildlife, things of that nature. It's going to affect so many people," concerned neighbor Karen Lux said.

Valley Oaks has previously said it's committed to being a responsible neighbor.

The company's plans have to get approval from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. A public hearing is set for Tuesday, April 3 at 6 p.m. at the Warrensburg Community Center.

Those interested in signing up for complimentary bus transportation to the hearing can submit their information through the online form here.

Seats are limited to 55 passengers and are first-come, first-served. Riders will board at 4 p.m. and the bus will leave at 4:30 p.m., returning to Powell Gardens after the hearing."

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