While Hutterites normally maintain harmony within their colonies, the powerful odors from their large, hog-raising operations can challenge relationships with their rural neighbors. One Hutterite colony in southwest Alberta appears to be trying to do something about the hog-barn stench that sometimes wafts over a nearby town.

The Pincher Creek Echo last week carried a story about the Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony’s struggles to reduce the odors from their hogs, which are carrying into the nearby town. Mike Gross, Colony Manager, told the paper, “if only you could produce bacon without the smell, that would be fantastic.”

But Gross has confronted the problem with deeds as well as words. The colony brought in orange peels from Nevada, spent $70,000 in ground up yucca from California, and put added layers of straw to cover manure in the barns in order to hide the smells. Nothing has worked. One potential solution under development, according to Mr. Gross, is a food additive for hog feed which may help reduce odors from the pig excrement.

Meanwhile, the town of Pincher Creek and the colony, which are only a few kilometers apart, are working together to seek solutions. The problem is particularly acute during the summer months, when the wind sometimes blows from the colony toward the town.

On Monday evening last week the town mayor and two of his councilors met with colony representatives to explore other options for minimizing the problem. “The Hutterites have followed all the regulations and requirements. We’re trying to solve something that goes beyond that,” one of the councilors said.

It appears from the article as if the good colony/town relations, emphasized during an interview at the colony in the summer of 2006, continue to thrive. Everyone is trying to find a solution that will solve the current concern.