Multiple media outlets out of Kansas City are reporting that Valley Oaks Steak Company near Lone Jack is closing after their expansion plans have caused controversy. According to KMBC 141 property owners raised concerns and filled a lawsuit when Valley Oaks applied for a permit to expand to 7,000 cattle.

KSHB is reporting that Valley Oaks' statement about the closing mentions neighbor Powell Gardens, Kansas City's Botanical Garden, as being the driving force behind a fear mongering campaign targeting the cattle operation. CEO and President of Powell Gardens Tabitha Schmidt told the TV station they were concerned about the smell an expanded operation would bring and found their concerns were valid.

She also told KSHB that she feels Powell Gardens was "very mindful and very careful in how we approached this."

KMBC reports Valley Oaks decided to close after the  “economics” and “the constant barrage of legal battles and extensive marketing efforts needed to counter misinformation.” A lawyer representing homeowners in the area told KMBC “Valley Oaks closing is good news for our clients who will no longer fee like prisoners in their own homes.”

What I see from reading these reports is a lot of finger pointing and fear of the unknown. I get it. If I lived near Valley Oaks and they wanted to go from 1,000 to 7,000 cattle. I'd have questions and concerns about the environmental impact on and near my home. If I were running Powell Gardens I'd share that concern too.

I also get Valley Oaks position. At face value it seemed they wanted to expand their business and be a good neighbor through trying to be one of the most environmentally friendly operations in the country and operate their business safely.

Would that have been enough to keep an expanded Valley Oaks from negatively impacting the lives of the neighbors and Powell Gardens? The neighbors and Powell Gardens obviously didn't think so. It's just a shame somewhere rational discussion on the issue seemed to break down and turn into two groups throwing cow manure on each other.


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