The project would be built in two phases on 473 acres near West Mansfield. The first phase would be for 4 million layers, and if sufficient demand is there, the operation could be expanded to 6 million layers, Tom Lohr, a Hi-Q spokesman, says in the Columbus Dispatch.

The company says on its Web site that in phase one, a state-of-the-art farm would be built with 10 environmentally-controlled houses for hen care, separate buildings for organic nutrient containment/storage/distribution, and on-site facility for feeding processing and grain purchasing, and a high-tech plant for the production of liquid egg products.

Construction of the first phase is targeted to commence April 2008, with start-to-finish of this phase estimated to be about 2.5 years.

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Hi-Q says the new company established will produce egg products with priorities on food safety, environmental stewardship, employee care, and animal husbandry.

The egg farm is not without opposition, however. A newly-formed citizens group has formed to oppose Hi-Q, according to Feb. 3 article in the Dispatch. “Our major concern is that we already have a large population of chickens here. Nobody can tell us what the tipping point is,” says Pam Williams, president of the Northwest Neighborhood Alliance. A spokesman for Ohio’s Livestock Environmental Permitting Program says there is no time frame for the review process.