Back in the day it was said that a firm handshake and eye contact were considered insight into fair business dealings in an ethical business deal.

Mike and I did not witness that when John Anderson showed up at our door late evening back in May. In fact he never even requested to speak with either of us face to face.

The project being a large-scale hogging ranch less than one-half mile from our home.

He quickly rambled off the minimal information concerning his intentions to our daughter, and was gone.

From what I hear, the rest of the neighbors weren't even afforded that much. I guess not placing actual faces to the people his project is potentially going to impact is easier to pull off.

My neighbors and I are being asked to trust this hog rancher and his intentions with the safety of our groundwater and the assurance that our wetlands in close proximity will not be contaminated by the megatons of hog excrement in the years to come.

One hundred fifty neighbors signed a petition against the construction of this hog operation. Many other citizens addressed the Stearns County Board with written protests and several more attended and verbally spoke up as to how Anderson's hog operation will impact their properties and lifestyles.

This hearing was held in Waite Park on June 26. Ironically it should be noted that no Anderson member ever plans to personally make his home anywhere near this large-scale operation.

Just because you can obtain a permit and are backed by millions in government subsidies to push through a project that directly will lower the property values of residents of a small town doesn't make it right.

To most of us, that is obvious. Morals and ethics cannot be bought. Incidentally, it would be important to note that this hog ranch will only provide employment to Anderson Farm’s already existing 12 employees.

At the board meeting, John Anderson stated, “I don't want to make any enemies.” Going through with this project will likely create a number of them for him.

Michael and Renee Bjork

Brooten