Jeff Speaks to Macon County Commissioners

On Feb. 7, Jeff proposed a resolution to the Macon County Commissioners meeting

This is what the Macon County Times printed about the resolution:

Jeff Poppen, also known as the “Barefoot Farmer”, was given permission by [Mayor Shelby] Linville to speak to commissioners Monday night.  Poppen raised concerns about a proposed chicken house that is moving close to his home.  “Agriculture is very, very important.  We are an agrarian society,” said Poppen.  Poppen said that he brought in lots of revenue for the county from his farm where people come to see his gardens.
“I’m proud of my gardens, and I think that a lot of people in Macon County are proud of what we do down there on the Long Hungry Creek.”  Poppen says that the chicken house is downhill and downstream from his farm, and he is concerned about the effect it will have on his farm and creek, which he says has been rated an exceptional water source in the state of Tennessee.

The proposal, in its entirety, asked that the county recognize TDEC’s classification of Long Hungry Creek as an “exceptional water of TN”.  The commissioners had no response at all, almost as if no resolution was read into the county record.  In following up, I found a chat site where a debate ensued, but not over the content of the resolution, the classification of the Long Hungry Creek, or the encroachment of Cobb, but rather whether Jeff had any right to speak at all.  The “conversation” bottomed out when a resident whose user name is ‘barefoot hater’, posted:

“He has that big party over at his farm every year and everybody there gets stoned and drunk, and you all are calling for him to be heard. Give me a break. To be fair I’m gonna go on record right now and speak for myself as a parent and for all the other parents out there that do not support drugs use and warn Mr. Poppins one time and ONLY one time. When my kids or any of my friends kids come back one more time from your “summer solstice party” stoned out of there mind, I’m going to come BLOW YOUR FU**ING head off. you are providing, promoting and enabling these kids to do drugs and it over my friend. Roll that up and smoke it cause i aint joking and I aint bluffing. Just try me buddy!!”

Jeff’s right to address the council was questioned not on any matter of relevance or substance, but rather on the idea that Jeff was a hippie who has hippie parties.  Others spoke up on Jeff’s behalf, “Angry parent” responded to this at length, but got to the crux of the issue in this one statement directed at “Barefoot hater”:

If your kids are smoking pot, then you haven’t done your job right.

“Angry Parent” then followed up with some good sense:

You are just ignorant and afraid of what you don’t understand. I don’t care if Poppens is a hippie, he is not hurting anyone. For your information he does help the people in this county as well as a lot of people in middle Tennessee. I know a lot of people that wouldn’t have food if it were not for the Barefoot Farmer & his generosity and I know that those people appreciate and are grateful to him. You would rather have Poppens leave the county but yet have these nasty smelling chicken houses that are going up, which will not do one positive thing to help the people of this county and will pollute our water, soil & air? You are as much of a nut case as the one that is threatening to blow off a peaceful man’s head.

Thanks, “Angry Parent”, for recognizing the absurdity of “Barefoot hater’s” comments, but the episode was illuminating nonetheless, and well beyond the poor spelling and grammar.  In these times of partisanship and obfuscation of issues, how can any real, useful debate ensue when the mentality of some residents is so petty and vitriolic?

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  1. I love that farm and everything jeff does for everyone! he is seriously the kindest person i know, this cant happen!
    if there is anything i can do to help prevent this please let me know
    i have already sent a letter to that paul guy and had a lot of my friends do the same
    but if there is ANYTHING else, i will be more than happy to help out
    i cant bare to see that beautiful creek turn bad

  2. Dear Mr. Jeff,
    It is sad that people can be so hateful. I am praying that you succeed in keeping the chicken outfit away from your very special farm! Looking forward to seeing this amazing place when it is convenient for you. God bless!

  3. I haven’t received any of the pieces of paper you said you’d send me. This is quite a response!

  4. The point of this enitre arguement has nothing to do with Jeff’s personal life. We are talking about the Earth, quality of living and general health and wellness. If you were to kick Jeff out what would you lose…food that HE gives to the needy that if he didnt they would depend on Macon Cty. city funds. IF you were to bringin the chicken plant what would you gain? A smelly factory, polluted lands and water, and above all the sound of sick dying chickens, EVERYDAY OF YOUR LIVES…deal with that

  5. An attack on Jeff Poppen’s character is absurd and holds no merit. Poppen’s actions in life thus far makes it obvious he has been a good neighbor, citizen, and has sponsored goodwill inside and outside of Macon county….towards humans, animals, and plants! When somebody somewhere said, and the greatest of these is Love thy neighbor, they were referring to this attacker whose small-minded. attention-seeking, jealous rant makes them so very hard to love. Yet Jeff still manages to rise above the petty drama and make a difference for the people and nature of this world. I support him in his endeavors to keep his farm pristine and unspoiled by industrial waste.

  6. I have known Jeff for thiryfive years. He is a kind gentle soul who tries to be a friend to eveyone he meets, even that foolish hater.. All you need do is listen to that foolish angry jackass to feel the vibes between those who are opposed to this complete sellout tio corporate Amerika and those who display their ignorance like a flag for all to see how just plain mean spirited they are.. Perhaps Hippie hater should take a toke or two. Just having him for a father has to be worse than anything Jeff could do to them.

    1. April,
      Not only are you talking nonsense, but it has nothing to do with whether or not industrial chicken farms are good for farmers, rural communities, or feeding people. I understand the pathological need to attack when you have nothing of relevance to to say, but can we stick to the subject please.


  7. No we dont all get ‘stoned’ at his ‘big party’ we are already high from the enchanted food!
    I hope those chickens dont move in and ruin the enchantment.
    Wow what an intense time long hungry farm must be having.I love you guys and the loving farm so stay strong while the tyson tries to made some raucous.

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