Somebody is shooting and killing cattle belonging to a Lone Jack feedlot that wants to greatly expand near Powell Gardens.
The Valley Oaks Steak Co. has lost three head, one of them a pregnant cow, in the last week or so.
"Unfortunately the violence has continued at our pasture farm in Lone Jack," the steak company posted on Facebook.
Lone Jack police are investigating, and the Missouri Cattlemen's Association has offered a $6,000 reward.
The feedlot has applied to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for a concentrated animal feeding operation permit to increase the size of its feeding, processing and retail operation from less than 900 head of cattle to 6,999, producing an estimated 13,900 tons of manure a year.
Powell Gardens, three miles away in Johnson County, Mo., is concerned that such an operation, with its smell and waste runoff, would be a "potential threat to the beauty and peace" of the botanical attraction.
A public hearing on the application is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. April 3 at the Warrensburg Community Center, 445 E. Gay St.
Under Missouri rules, only feedlots with 7,000 head or more of cattle are required to submit an odor-control plan. But family-owned Valley Oaks says that it is building a "state-of-the-art" feedlot and that odor would be kept to a minimum.
"Some groups are relentless in their efforts to stop modern agriculture," the cattlemen's association said in offering the reward for information that leads to a felony conviction. "They are throwing science to the curb and spreading their fiction as fact. But shooting animals? This is where misinformed meets evil. This must stop."
Kalie Hudson, marketing director at Powell Gardens, said the organization has no information about the cattle killings.
"We are horrified at the incident," Hudson said. "We were looking for a civil public discourse." She said that has been achieved with the scheduling of a public hearing.
The cattlemen's association expressed a similar view.
"Disagreeing is fine," the association said. "Healthy debate is good. Irrational rhetoric that turns into evil is not fine."
Anyone with information about the cattle shootings is asked to call the Lone Jack Police Department at 816-697-2417.