by Fred H. Vlietstra
4th generation farmer and part-owner
We want you to know that we love farming and try to do our best. We want to be good neighbors and we don’t want to pollute your neighborhood or ours. Farming is a tremendous amount of work and it has to be done seven days a week, 365 days a year.
In the last couple of years, some of our biggest heartache is from having people file complaints against us for our manure spreading. We know the manure stinks and is unsightly, but it is good natural fertilizer and is good for the land.
We try to spread on flatter fields in winter and also try not to spread near homes in the summer. As more homes are built, it becomes increasingly difficult to spread where there aren’t homes. None of our fields have tiles, creeks or streams right by them where the manure could run. Our system of hauling weekly makes it quite impractical to work it into the soil right away, and with fresh spread manure, by the time you do, the smell has dissipated.
We test our soils and do not over apply. Manure is basically undigested hay, corn and soybeans. Much of the manure is water. We rotate the areas where we spread so as to minimize the impact of the smell. We like the current size of our herd and don’t have any plans to expand.
Over the years we’ve made some major improvements to our system of manure hauling and also how we handle water runoff. You can read all the details HERE.
If you have any concerns or complaints , could you please try to resolve it with us first? It is really discouraging to us to get a call from a government agency with people reporting complaints. We would be happy to show you the farm and explain what we are doing, but please also understand we are very busy, depending on the season and what is happening each day.
Here is how you can contact us.