Commissars OK Irwin Feed Lot

Will supply quality beef for Aspen

(Crested Butte) Gunnison County has approved a low impact feedlot within the town of Irwin. The action comes as a bit of a surprise to residents there who once thought they had escaped the annoyances and aromas of the 21st Century.

“We’ve followed every county and state spec down to the nitty gritty, which of course is up to the cattle,” said Jack Sprat, a Brit, who came to the United States in 1994, a refugee from mad cow disease. “You want to talk about green belt? Do a soil test on the feedlot after just three months operation.”

The feedlot is classified low impact since it will be located exclusively near summer houses and host only a minimal, “but motivated” herd at first. In fact, Spratt’s kids will do most of the care-taking after school as part of a 4-H project.

“We expect to feed 200 -300 head in the beginning and expand to 5000 for the summer months. Spratt is currently negotiating with Irwin Lodge for grazing rights through the warmed months.

Most of the beef raised here will be shipped via Pearl Pass to glitzy Aspen where it will be transformed into high dollar, high cholesterol treats. Already several restaurants there have agreed to weighty contracts.

“We hope to conduct business without all the hype,” said Spratt. “We want to run a customer-friendly, caring facility that cows can be proud to call home. My kids don’t know about the real purpose here. They think the cattle are being raised for the circus. Not real smart, heh? When they are adults we’ll let them in on the action. Once they see the ledger sheet they’ll come around. 

“It’s amazing how money tempers morality, he smiled.

Meanwhile residents of Irwin have filed a complaint with the local authorities saying that the town is not zoned for this type of agriculture. They are threatening to boycott Crested Butte, Gunnison and Aspen if the plan is enacted.

“We have attended every last meeting on the subject,” said Spratt. “We even provided, at our own expense, the fertilizer for inquiring minds. What do they mean when they say Irwin is not zoned agriculture? Hell, everyone up there has at least three dogs and grows marijuana. That sounds pretty agriculture to me.”

– Fred Zeppelin

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