Recently, a neighboring Cooks farmer wrote a compelling letter regarding a farmer's need to subsidize his/her income (hence why they signed a wind turbine lease with Heritage Energy). Oh, how I can relate to that having been married to a dairy farmer for nine years. Although we had only 80-100 cows to milk twice a day, we had to purchase all of our feed. We both had full-time jobs outside the farm. We also leased out the small corn field since we didn't have the proper equipment to harvest field corn.
One thing that really baffled and surprised me was the farmer that leased our corn field received a government subsidy not to raise corn. Although he received this money, he could still grow a crop called sorghum that is fed to farm animals. So, he received the money not to grow a product then used the same land to produce another feeding crop he sold to farmers. He did this to ensure the field didn't go to weeds. I'm just putting that out there for other farmers to see different ways to supplement their incomes without having to disturb neighbor's rights. In fact, there's a website that list all the subsidies and who receives them: farm.ewg.org/index.php?key=nosign#.U-_TOEqAzn8.email.
Another comment made over the past few months regarding a County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting (April 17, 2012) for the test tower Heritage installed in Cooks two years ago. All three comments noted they were curious why so much opposition now when only six people bothered to show up two years ago for this public hearing. Actually, according to the legal minutes of this meeting, 10 community members plus two Heritage representatives and the Zoning Board members were in attendance. According to the official minutes, when one female community member made a statement about not wanting windmills, she was told "this hearing was for a test tower only, and that her comment did not pertain to this hearing." This was the same answer others received when they inquired about this hearing.
Just to set the record straight. The same people concerned today are the same people who were never given an opportunity to speak up until now...
Another interesting point found in the same official minutes, Heritage's representative stated "that she is the Project Manager for this project and they are asking to install a 60 meter tower to measure wind speed. The equipment will measure wind, and they will set up a base line. They will also consult with DNR, US Fish and Wildlife Services, and attempt to build a relationship with the community to get their feed back." Well, we certainly know how they consulted the US Fish and Wildlife by simply ignoring their guidelines in Garden and another Heritage represented said during the June 2014 County Commissioners meeting that they would do the same in Garden if they had to do it all over again.
As far as building a relationship with the community, I've never had any opportunities to speak my peace until this spring. Many thanks to our county commissioners and Inwood Township officials!