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It's not too often that folks can get something free with no strings attached, but next week, local farmers will be treated to just that.
Soybean meal -- 50 tons of it -- was spilled during a Norfolk Southern train derailment near Waddy in March. That accident happened at about 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning, when nine cars jumped the track and overturned. Four of them were hopper cars loaded with the meal. Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger elected to have the meal taken into storage for farmers rather than have it taken to a landfill for disposal.
"We were able to procure that, and it has been stored at the county road department in a dry location," he said. "It was given to the county for free, and we are going to give it to the local area farmers for free."
Rothenburger said that he will begin releasing the meal to local farmers on Monday, June 23.
Farmers must transport it themselves, said Carl Henry, supervisor at the road department. He added that they may haul it in any manner they chose.
"We will provide it in bulk form and we will load it," he said. "We will give them one full dip with our high lift, which is a two-and-half-yard bucket. One bucket full will weigh about a ton. All they have to do is pull up there, and we'll load them up."
Rothenburger said farmers will receive a few forms, one to sign and one to fill out.
"All they'll have to do is sign a waiver in case there's any inert material in there that was inadvertently vacuumed up from the train wreck, any little rocks or whatever," he said.
Henry added that despite the waiver, the meal contains very few impurities.
"It's very clean," he said.
The form that farmers may keep is an analysis of the content of the meal, Henry said.
"We will provide information from the University of Kentucky about the protein content," Henry said. "Something that people need to know is that it is high protein. It should be mixed with other feed. It is a protein supplement. A lot of the guys tell me that they mix it with alfalfa or hay or corn. There are numerous things you can mix it with for livestock feed."
Henry added that farmers will be asked to put tarps over the meal before leaving the road department with their loads because the meal is very fine-textured and will blow easily.
The meal will be distributed next week Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or as long as it lasts.
For more information, call the road department at 633-3279.
To Receive Free Soybean Meal
Pick up meal at 406 Kentucky St.
Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Will receive one ton of meal
Road department will load meal
Bring tarp to cover load when transporting
Must be a local resident to receive meal
For more information, call 633-3279