Bones Dairy Faces Permit Review, May Not Have Planted Enough Shelter Belt

Walt Bones
Walt Bones

Former Agriculture Secretary Walt Bones may be appearing before the Turner County Planning and Zoning Board at its next meeting on Tuesday, May 10. The board’s agenda includes the following item concerning his 1500-head Turner County Dairy’s possible failure to plant enough trees:

10:45 a.m.—A review of a Conditional Use Permit granted to Turner County Dairy LLP in 1998 for failure to comply with the conditions of having a shelter belt around the project. It is located in SE 1/4 25-100-53, Brothersfield Township, Turner County, SD [Turner County Planning and Zoning Board, agenda for 2016.05.10].

Southeast quarter of Section 25, Township 100, Range 53… let’s take a look at the Google Map:

Turner County Dairy, SE 1/4 S25 T100 R53, Google Maps, screen cap 2016.05.04.
Turner County Dairy, SE 1/4 S25 T100 R53, Google Maps, screen cap 2016.05.04.

I see some trees along the north and west edges of the dairy complex, a couple patches by the grain bins, and some trees around the house. Is that enough shelter belt for the Conditional Use Permit?

Bones recently cheered the approval of a 5,000-head dairy near Viborg. Bones is also listed as a member of the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, brought to you by the Monsanto Fund.

Perhaps Turner County will advise Bones next Tuesday to plant more trees.


6 Responses to Bones Dairy Faces Permit Review, May Not Have Planted Enough Shelter Belt

  1. mike from iowa

    By way of punishment,do they get to stone him with Nerf balls?

    On the brighter side-one less place for a gubmint suicide to occur so there is that.

  2. So the review process occurs 18 years after the permit is granted? One might think that a review a year later would prove whether or not trees had been planted. Unfortunately trees take time to grow, so we have missed out on the almost two decades of potential growth while the landowner has been able to utilize that land for additional crops (and profit).

    I wonder what the potential ramifications might be. I’m guessing a stern lecture and a polite request to promise to resolve the issue is about as far as this will go. They can check up on the progress in another 18 years or so.

  3. Remember about 15 years ago when we amended the state constitution to ban corporate farming? The courts struck it down. I’ve been studying this photo closely, and I don’t see a farmhouse anywhere. Why plant trees when you’re not living on your farm, and the people who work there are stuck in the barn 24/7 with the cows? I bet Bones has a vision of all farms someday being like this. Nothing but livestock lives on them; the people live miles away in the city. Cows don’t complain about odors, setbacks, dust, etc. It’s sad.

  4. mike from iowa

    Dave appears to be right. I can’t see a house even on fullscreen. Maybe it is a stealth mode military house.

  5. The trees (or lack thereof) are certainly troubling, but I’d say the county, and the state as a whole for that matter, better begin to recognize and address the negative impacts of the activity that occurred directly to the south and across the road to the east of the site—tiling. It’s quite ironic when “True Environmentalists” take something they consider to be a problem on their property—excess water—load it up with pollutants, especially nitrate, and send it downstream as fast as possible to flood property, sicken people, and destroy aquatic ecosystems. As the SD Corn Growers Association would say, “This is Farming”!

  6. FYI, the aerial photo on Google Earth dated 3/9/2015 shows what appears to be a house located in the cluster of trees on the far southeast corner of the site.