The way has been cleared for a Fayetteville couple to open up an organic farm on Emory Phillips Road in Sharpsburg.
A conditional use permit was approved Tuesday night by the Coweta County Commission at the request of Scott and Nicole Tyson.
The Tysons will run the farm on a 9.81 acre tract at 237 Emory Phillips Road. They will build a 320 square foot building on the property, with the farm open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Scott Tyson in July made the request to be allowed to start a sustainable organic farm, citing the potential for the property to grow healthier food and raise healthier animals that will, in turn, provide on-farm direct sales, educational experiences, entertainment and hospitality services to the public.
Commission Chairman Paul Poole said a major concern is to make sure odors don’t become a problem at the site. A condition of the permit requires Tyson to work with the county to address odor, noise and other concerns if they materialize.
Commissioner Tim Lassetter noted that he understood the farm couldn’t have animals such as hogs, pigs and the like.
Scott Tyson said yes, that is the case and at a neighbor’s request he agreed to withdraw those animals from consideration for the farm. According to the approved conditions, the animals will be limited to chickens, turkeys, sheep and lamb. Also, the maximum number of animals on the site will be 550 and there will be no roosters older than 20 weeks.
Tyson, whose young son was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, has said the disease is linked to pesticides. That reality, he said, had caused him to consider the negative health effects of food grown on conventional farms where pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are commonly used.
In a previous presentation to the commission, Tyson cited information from the Toxics Information Project that farmers who frequently use pesticides have a six-fold increase in Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He also cited the nutritional advantages of raising free-range chickens and eating eggs from pasture-raised chickens.
Tyson also has noted that generational farming is on the decline in the United States, resulting on the reliance by grocery chains to purchase food to be shipped from where it is cheapest and most abundant without regard for quality.