Construction has begun on an organic egg farm with a 480,000-hen capacity in Michigan’s Allegan County.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the $8.2 million farm facility, located in Otsego Township at 2105 110th Avenue, will be owned and operated by Konos Inc., a distributor of Vande Bunte Eggs. Rob Knecht, vice president of operations at Konos, said construction is going according to schedule and that the farm is following all local zoning and permit requirements.
“Everything is on track,” said Knecht. “We are in the building and construction process, continuing to partner with the various municipalities that require different permits and want to do everything we can to be a great neighbor to the people of Otsego.”
Nationwide, the average farm is about 450 acres in size. The Otsego egg farm will encompass five parcels of land, all of which are zoned AG Agriculture and Rural Estate.
Over recent years, organic eggs have become increasingly in demand among consumers. These eggs come from hens that eat certified organic feed, which is free of pesticides, arsenics, antibiotics and more. Additionally, organic eggs are required to come from hens that are not enclosed in cages and are allowed to roam outdoors.
Despite the benefits of organic eggs, the Otsego farm itself was initially met with opposition. In December 2014, township residents objected to the farm at the Otsego Township Planning Commission’s meeting, citing its potential odors as well as its ability to impact local animal and insect life. However, MLive.com reported, the township residents eventually withdrew their opposition.
Knecht said Konos will do everything it can to minimize odors and impacts on nearby insects and wildlife. The farm will conform to meet USDA organic standards as well as state organic standards, he said.
“We are thankful for a city, a region, and a state that all value agriculture,” he said, ” and look forward to producing a safe and affordable protein over the next few months.”