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Ag United Hopes to Pack CAFO Appeal Hearing with Factory-Farm Boosters

Ag United wants you to know that the Minnehaha County Commission is hearing appeals on two Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) tomorrow, Tuesday, June 16:

The Minnehaha County Commissioners will be hearing two appeals on CAFO permits next Tuesday, June 16th. Both CAFOs were approved unanimously by the Minnehaha County Planning & Zoning board on May 18, 2015 under the recommendation of the Minnehaha County Planning & Zoning staff.

Both of these CAFOs are being appealed by neighbors who are concerned about the impact these facilities will have on their neighborhoods. The location of both facilities are in an ag zoned area of Minnehaha County.

CAFO issues black and white: let's hear both sides at Tuesday's hearing.
CAFO issues black and white? Let’s hear both sides at Tuesday’s hearing.

The first appeal will be a Class C CAFO (up to 499 Animal Units) was granted to Wyatt Sunvold. This facility is a calf raising barn located north of Brandon.The second appeal is a Class B CAFO (up to 1,250 AU) was granted to Seldon and Brenda Lacey. This facility is also a calf raising facility.

Both farms are currently raising calves. Their new facilities will be designed by professional engineers to the standards set forth by the South Dakota DENR.

The appeal will be heard at 9:00 am on Tuesday, June 16th at the Minnehaha County Administration Building. It is important for stakeholders in South Dakota animal agriculture show up at the hearing to support these two families. We realize that everyone is busy, but please take a few hours to come out and support these two families next Tuesday.

Also, the Minnehaha County Commissioner are expected to hear an appeal on a 500 cow dairy that was granted a permit in April on June 23rd [Ag United, e-mail, 2015.06.12].

According to the Minnehaha County Commission agenda for June 16, the Sunvold CAFO would be three miles north of Brandon and a half mile west of Highway 11. The Lacey CAFO would be 2.5 miles southwest of Valley Springs.

Ag United would like to stack the audience with supporters of industrial agriculture. But I’m sure as good neighbors, they won’t mind if South Dakotans with a different view of the respectful and healthy use of our natural resources come occupy a few seats.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-15

    I have nothing against a farm with less than 500 head of livestock. The problem is that they will all be crammed into a barn or lots, thus cramming their eliminations in a small area.

    If they even put them on 40 open acres, it would be a big improvement. Even better, feed them hay and withhold antibiotics. Then sell the calves at 800-1000 pounds at a premium as organic, grass fed, beef to SD, Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines, Kansas City, etc.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-15

    BTW, Whole Foods is a big organic grocer with stores in Minnesota and across the country. Their profit margin is slipping because organic foods are taking up a bigger and bigger part of major grocer’s shelves. The market for organic is growing quickly.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if SD and SD’s businesses tried to get on the leading edge of commerce?

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