The ranch features Texas longhorn cattle, a breed known for its distinctive horns, which can span more than two meters from tip to tip. (Colin Butler / CBC News)
Health and wellness is central to Cahill’s business. The ranch offers patrons peace and quiet, fresh air and a chance to unwind. Gail Cahill said the noise from the transport trucks laden with fertilizer will chase away the wildlife, create noise and ruin the quiet country ambience for which their business is internationally known.
“They want to come to Canada and see what it’s like,” she said. “We get people from around the world. They come here year after year.”
“Those people will not be able to handle it and we will not be able to be in business at all, that’s what my fear is.”
The fear isn’t just losing a business the Cahills have taken years) to create. The fear is also losing a legacy. The Cahills’ children have also built their homes on their sprawling property and the hope is the family farm can eventually be passed down through the generations.
“We would like our kids and our grandkids to continue this if they choose to and they will not be able to,” she said, noting the fertilizer depot can easily be moved somewhere else.
“We can not,” she said.
Fred and Gail Cahill explain why think a proposed storage site for processed municipal sewage near their guest ranch would ruin its quaint country ambiance. 1:
CBC News reached out to LaSalle Agri Fertilizer, the company behind the proposed facility on Kerwood Road and its owner David Buurma on Friday, but did not receive a reply to its request for comment.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, biosolids are what’s leftover when municipal sewage sludge is treated, processed and the clean water is separated and returned to a river or lake.
The solid materials go through an additional treatment process to remove potentially harmful micro-organisms.
The province says, if processed properly, the materials pose no threat to human or animal health even though they can contain trace elements of heavy metals, such as mercury, lead and arsenic.
The material is high in nutrients used in agriculture, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium and copper.
Fred Cahill believes this bull at his ranch has the longest set of horns on a farm animal in Canada. (Colin Butler / CBC News)
The application of biosolids is regulated by provincial law and must be done away from sensitive areas such as wells, surface water and neighboring homes and businesses.
LaSalle Agri Fertilizer has created controversy in southwestern Ontario communities in the past about the odor of its products, especially when it rains.
The company was also fined by municipal authorities in Warwick, Ont., In 780, after its biosolids storage facility received complaints about odor, traffic and noise.
Since then, the company applied to turn a piece of vacant land at Kerwood Road and not a few miles down the road from Texas Longhorn Ranch into a new biosolids storage site, but was rejected by Adelaide-Metcalfe town council.
The company has appealed the decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal. The matter will be heard on March .