The General Manager of Topigs Norsvin Canada says when planning the construction of a new swine barn open communication with neighbors and with the public is critical.

In February 2016 Topigs Norsvin Canada applied for and 15 months later was granted a permit for the construction of a boar test station in the RM of Woodlands.

Cam McGavin, the General Manager of Topigs Norsvin Canada, told those on hand for last week for the 2018 Manitoba Swine Seminar, if you’re willing to spend the money and do the work, the technical review process is pretty straight forward but the challenge is to engage the public and neighbors and show them what you plan to do.

It’s amazing how little people know of what we do and how we do it and how we spread manure and how things have changed over the years. You’re going to get pushback. You always are. You’re going to get people that are totally opposed and don’t really want to hear what you have to say. That’s just part of the process but I think if you can convince most of the people that what you’re going to do will not harm where they live, won’t harm the water that they drink, won’t affect them or their children in any negative fashion then I think you can win the day.

The key really truly is the people need to have confidence in the company that you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do. You’re not going to put up this hog barn and you’re not going to pollute their environment and let the thing overflow or anything else. It always boils down to people. They have to look at us and have confidence that we’re going to do what we say we’re going to do and then we need to work with them and make sure we engage with them, hear what they have to say. Ultimately the biggest concern of the local people is always the same, it’s odour.

~ Cam McGavin, Topigs Norsvin Canada

McGavin says the nice thing about odor is that it doesn’t spread that far but people don’t necessarily believe that. He says you have to convince them that you’ll be a good neighbor and that you’ll take good care of the land.