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Rachel Cox, a resident in Johnson County, Mo., holds a sign she made, “Big Ag Makes Me Gag,” at a public hearing held by DNR at the Warrensburg Community Center in Warrensburg, Mo., on April 3, 2018. Cox, who has two kids, said she was concerned about the Valley Oaks Steak Company’s application for operating a CAFO in the community, which would be, she said, “in such a densely populated area” close to Kansas City. “There are some that are harmful that you're not going to be able to smell,” Cox said. “And you're not going to know until, if you live really close to one and several years down the line, your families are getting all these health issues.” (Photo courtesy of Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting)

JEFFERSON CITY • A Missouri commission has rejected a proposal to greatly expand a cattle feedlot near a 970-acre botanical garden.

The Kansas City Star reports that Powell Gardens chief executive Tabitha Schmidt says she's "utterly elated" by the Missouri Clean Water Commission's ruling. The commission decided Monday to reverse earlier state approval of Valley Oaks State Co.'s expansion plan.

The cattle feedlot near Lone Jack wanted to grow from fewer than 999 head of cattle to as many as 6,999 head. It envisioned what it pledged would be among the most environmentally friendly cattle operations in the nation.

Powell Gardens and other opponents said the expansion would threaten water quality, drive down home values and put the botanical center at risk of disease-spreading pests.

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