Buckeye Egg Farm
Fowl Living Conditions at Buckeye Egg Farm
Anton Pohlmann owned Buckeye Egg Farm, an egg production facility, with sites in Croton, Ohio, Marselles, Ohio, Goshen, Ohio, and Mount Victory, Ohio. A German national who also operated egg farms in Germany and in Pennsylvania, Pohlmann purchased the site at Croton first, establishing an egg farm there in 1980.
Pohlmann quickly became known for his unsanitary practices and also his inhumanity to his chickens. In 1983, the State of Ohio sued Buckeye Egg Farm for a manure spill into a creek that occurred at the Croton site. This as the first of many lawsuits and citations filed against Buckeye Egg. By 1995, the Croton facility produced sixty-five thousand cartons of eggs per week, and Pohlmann expanded his company beyond Croton to the other sites in Ohio. Meanwhile, in Germany, German officials banned Pohlmann from ever owning animals again in that nation for his business' treatment of chickens. In Ohio, conditions continued to deteriorate. In 1999, a manure spill killed fish in a fifteen mile portion of Raccoon Creek. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency filed charges against Pohlmann after he refused to pay for clean-up of the spill. The next year, a tornado struck the Croton facility. Despite animal groups' efforts to save the chickens, more than one million hens died, as Pohlmann failed to free them from their cages or to provide them with food and water.
In 2001, federal and state government officials increased pressure on Pohlmann to clean up Buckeye Egg Farm. That year, Licking County Common Pleas Court awarded twenty-one residents near the Croton facility nineteen million dollars in damages. In July 2003, state officials ordered Buckeye Egg Farm to cease production of eggs. Eventually Pohlmann ceased production, although he sold his facilities to another egg producer.