Something smaller than a penny is having a huge impact on a man’s farm and his family, and it is falling from the sky.

It was a fall day like any other. Neal Laferriere and his children were enjoying the landscape on his property when they heard a loud noise from above.

“I heard it and I looked up immediately because it sounded like it was flying really really low,” said his oldest daughter, Aislinn.

Laferriere’s children said they looked up and saw a helicopter carrying some kind of bucket. Aislinn said they assumed it was just more machinery being transported to pipeline work sites nearby. That is when little green pellets started falling from the sky.

“It hurt!” said Aislinn, “They were dry and rough.”

Laferriere’s younger daughter, Allycia, said, “It felt like people were throwing little pebbles at you.”

“On the first pass, my children were looking up and this helicopter drops these pellets all over my property, striking two of my children in the face and striking the rest of us,” Laferriere explained.

Laferriere bought his 115-acre property for his family four years ago to live off the grid and grow herbs. His farm was certified organic this year, which greatly increases the value of his products. 

When the land owners surrounding his property sold to the pipeline, he and his family had to make a tough decision.

“We thought very hard about fighting and we started seeing a lot of the beginnings of eminent domain, and we chose to work with the pipeline company,” Laferriere said. “We’ve only got 525 feet here where it crosses us, so we chose to go ahead and work with them…we’ve tried to be cordial.”

He said everything was fine until the pellets started raining down, leading him to contact pipeline environmentalists and FERC inspectors, all of whom apologized and reassured him that the pellets were not harmful. 

The pellets are called earth guard edge. They are designed to swell with water and stabilize the ground. Laferriere said inspectors with the pipeline came out to his property 10 days later. 

Laferiere said the environmental specialist with MVP informed him that there was no way to clean up these pellets from his property. For Laferriere, the pellets are not just hurting his children, but his livelihood.

“Being an organic farm, having a substance dumped on your property puts you at risk of losing your organic certification,” Laferriere said.

He also said he feels like his family is being violated and he is worried about how it could affect the herbs on his land.

“We’re extremely concerned, this has the potential to ruin our farm,” Laferriere said. “It’s a big deal to us.”

Laferriere said his attorney sent a cease and desist request, and the helicopters finally stopped flying over his family. However, he still wants to see some accountability from MVP.

In the mean time, he hopes his family business will survive this.

Laferriere is currently communicating with EPA officials to learn more about the pellets.

59 News is still waiting for a comment from MVP representatives.