Nebraska county residents against Costco chicken farm plan
Eleven counties in Nebraska have approved plans for broiler farm projects to support Lincoln Premium Poultry plant, and some want to make sure Lancaster County won’t be the 12th
While a poultry complex will soon be in operation in Dodge County, Nebraska, residents who live two counties south of there are expressing opposition to a broiler farm project in their vicinity.
A new poultry plant is scheduled to open soon in the Dodge County community of Fremont. The facility will be operated by Lincoln Premium Poultry, and will process chicken products to be sold at Costco stores.
In Lancaster County, Randy Essink has purchased property with hopes of raising chickens to be processed by the plant, reported NetNebraska. Plans for the farm must first be approved by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission, which will hold a public hearing on the matter on July 18. Even if Essink’s project is approved, the planning commission’s decision could be subject to appeal.
According to the report, the commission has received 100 emails opposing the project, but also a letter in support of it. Those against it have communicated their worries about potential air and water pollution, potential decreases in property values and a likely increase in truck traffic on nearby roads.
Lincoln Premium Poultry spokesperson Jessica Kolterman says about 40 broiler farm projects have been approved in 11 counties in Nebraska – Butler, Sanders, Seward and Lancaster -- and three counties in Iowa – Harrison, Shelby and Montgomery.
The new Lincoln Premium Poultry complex, which will include a poultry processing plant, a hatchery and a feed ill, is expected to be operational by late 2019. When at full capacity, it will process about 2 million chickens per week.
The birds processed at the Lincoln Premium Poultry facility are expected to provide about 40 percent of Costco’s fresh chicken meat. The plant will process birds at 6 pounds, 4 ounces live weight to provide the specific size, weight and price that Costco Wholesale Corporation desires.