MOUNT VERNON — When Jim and Martha McDonald began setting up their broiler operation in Monroe Township at Paige and Wooster roads five years ago, opponents raised environmental concerns.
A neighbor, Lauren McKenzie, went to the county commissioners with concerns about pollution from salmonella bacteria, high levels of nitrogen from chicken manure, ammonia gas and the disposal of chicken carcasses.
Some concerns had already been addressed. The McDonalds had contacted Rob Clendening at the Knox Soil & Water Conservation District to help develop a comprehensive nutrient management plan which would calculate the number of acres needed in the operation to safely use chicken manure as fertilizer. That would keep it out of streams.
Clendening also works with farmers on proper composting techniques for carcass disposal.
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