Thomas Jefferson said it best in this quote: “The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” When we came to live and retire on the farm, it seemed almost everyone had something to do with farming. Some were also employed as a house builder, banker, teacher, insurance agent, postal worker or pastor. We found when you asked almost anyone what their occupation was, they would reply “farmer.” Some were lucky to have their own land and equipment to farm and some relied on renting, leasing or sharecropping.
I was told recently that NextEra sent out letters to wind turbine contract owners directing them to notify/warn their renters, leasers or sharecroppers that they are ready for construction. In one paragraph of the contract, NextEra agrees to continue the current agricultural use of the owner’s property in a manner that does not unreasonably interfere with the use of the operator’s (turbine company) use of the property. How does this help the farming culture for the landowner or renters?
In another paragraph of the turbine contract, it speaks of the construction rights of the operator (turbine company). It says they lease the property for the purpose of constructing, operating, maintaining, repairing, replacing and removing all or any part or component of the improvements whether located on or off owner’s property. Construction activity can take place during the times when farmers plant, grow or harvest. They estimate construction activity will continue the duration of this season and many more to come. What will this do to our farmers and farming communities?
DeKalb County has an opportunity to have protective ordinances by choosing zoning in four nonzoned townships on April 5. Vote “yes” on zoning to protect farming for all of us.
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