Mitchell Allows No Pigs in Town, But Minnehaha County Lets CAFO Critters Come Closer

In today’s juxtaposition file…

The Mitchell City Council last night turned down an ordinance that would have allowed Cassandra Bundy to keep her six pet miniature pigs, because for Pete’s sake, even if you’re making bacon for the whole block, we don’t want pigs getting lose and eating the Corn Palace!

Suey! Suey! Suey Falls, here we come!

But a couple counties over, the Minnehaha County Commission thinks it’s been keeping livestock too far from town. This morning the commission heeded Big Ag’s advice and voted unanimously to let producers put factory farms—confined animals feeding operations, a.k.a. CAFO—closer to homes and towns… because hey! livestock smells are just something we have to live with.

Hang in there, Mitchell—maybe Minnehaha County will stink out some Sioux Falls people to move your way.

Related Reading: Chicken mega-producer Pete Sonstegard and Commissioners Cindy Heiberger and Dean Karsky said this ordinance supports family farms. But letting more CAFOs into Minnehaha County isn’t family-farm-friendly:

Rural residents are told that CAFOs are the future of farming. If they oppose CAFOs they are not only threatening the economic future of American farmers but are destroying the economic foundation for rural communities. In truth, CAFOs are the end of real farming in America. They are factories, not farms. They drive real farmers out of business, not because they are more economically efficient but because they have more economic and political power. They are able to manipulate market prices and garner government subsidies to mask their actual lack of ability to compete with independent family farms. There is no future for farmers in an industry dominated by CAFOs [Professor John Ikerd, “The Hidden Costs of Factory Farming,” October 2011].

5 Responses to Mitchell Allows No Pigs in Town, But Minnehaha County Lets CAFO Critters Come Closer

  1. mike from iowa

    I didn’t see an actual distance in feet cafo locations from residences in Dakota. In Obrien Co. iowa it is a quarter mile minimum.

    Ask wingnuts about local control for cities and then ask them why there is no local control in siting these stink bombs.

    Some day Sioux Falls might want to expand into the cafo combat zone.

    You know what is fun is going into a fast food restaurant or grocery store when some cafo workers in coveralls and dirty boots decide to stop by.

  2. Sioux Falls pols know that the wind blows form west to east. Mitchell is safe.

  3. Stinking people out? That’s a delightful thought. Probably what happened to start Sioux City’s decline.

  4. Drey Samuelson

    Thanks for posting, Cory, and also for giving us the link to “The Hidden Costs of Factory Farming,” too.

  5. One factor that should be considered is the capacity of our land and water to absorb the waste generated by these facilities. Manure from CAFOs is deposited on crop fields. Manure is, of course, an excellent fertilizer, but excess nutrients (nitrates and phosphorus, etc.) as well as bacteria in the manure can be hazardous to health and the environment. The Big Sioux River is know to be impaired due to bacterial contamination. The 2013 Big Sioux River Strategic Plan ( shows that most of the bacterial pollution of the Big Sioux in the Sioux Falls area comes from crop fields (p 53 paragraph 4, and p 55 Figure 6-8). As livestock numbers increase, manure applications onto crop fields also increase, leading to increased probability of contamination of the river. Pasture and animal feeding operations contribute the highest amount of bacteria per acre (BSR Strategic Plan p 55 Table 6-3), therefore it is advisable to consider the potential impact of increasing numbers of CAFO facilities; but it is also important to recognize that the combined effect of the actual facilities together with the manure they generate is likely to be great, indeed.