Local cattleman sues agribusiness giant over deaths of livestock
A Pontotoc County cattleman is suing an agribusiness giant for $27,000, claiming the defendant caused the deaths of seven head of livestock.
John Adam Nowlin found five pregnant beef cows and two pregnant buffaloes stricken near a stream on his farm one morning in January 2018. Nowlin took two of the dead animals and a sample of water from the stream to Starkville for analysis by Mississippi State University (MSU) veterinarians.
The MSU vets found lethal levels of ammonia in the stomachs of the animals. Dr. Tim Morgan’s opinion: the cattle were killed by “urea toxicosis.”
Nowlin and the Mississippi State doctors say the ammonia came from fertilizer washed into the stream from the parking lot of the nearby Jimmy Sanders fertilizer store.
A further twist in the story is the question of whether or not the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had done its job of licensing and monitoring the Jimmy Sanders operations in Ecru and elsewhere in Mississippi.
The Jimmy Sanders fertilizer stores are now owned by J. R. Simplot Company, a company based in Boise, Idaho, which has annual revenues of over six billion dollars.
Alex Rozier of Mississippi Today researched and wrote the story published earlier this month. It details the travails John Nowlin has gone through in trying to recover for his loss: https://mississippitoday.org/2022/07/13/cattle-death-farmer-discovers-pollution-loophole/