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Steve Kirby, Money Men, Marketers, Greek Orthodox Church Oppose Wholestone Hog Plant in Sioux Falls

Last month, a non-profit formed by three well-to-do neighbors living downwind of the proposed Wholestone Foods hog slaughterhouse in northeast Sioux Falls published a poll showing strong opposition to doubling down on the livestock stink of South Dakota’s biggest city. Now Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls is working to show that it is more than three guys who can afford a Beltway pollster. Thursday the group issued an open letter to the Sioux Falls City Council listing 57 Sioux Falls businesses and other organizations that want the city to stop the slaughterhouse until somebody studies the environmental and economic impact of adding another giant meat factory to the city:

Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls, open letter, 2022.04.07.
Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls, open letter, 2022.04.07, p. 1.
Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls, businesses supporting open letter, 2022.04.07.
Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls, businesses supporting open letter, 2022.04.07.

Pay attention, City Council: the biggest signer on that list may be Bluestem Capital, led by Steve Kirby, who chairs the gubernatorial campaign of Kristi Noem, who said last June that she doesn’t want any more thieving meatpackers. City officials keep saying they don’t have any authority to stop the meatpacking plant; maybe Kirby’s signature on this letter signals that his friend Kristi will tell her pet Department of Agriculture (and Natural Resources) to find a reason to stop this project.

More money talking on this list is Bird Dog Equity Partners, led by venture capitalists Paul Schock, Kyle Schock, and Chad Hatch, and POET Ethanol. The opponents also have Greens (the Sierra Club) and God (Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church) on their side.

The resistors include online marketing firm Arvig Media, call center Dakota Performance Solutions, and The Original Pancake House, so watch out: these guys can flood the web with anti-hog propaganda, crank out a hundred thousand telemarketing calls telling people to call their city council members, and then stage protests on 41st Street and feed their protestors a big pancake breakfast (surely with a big side of sausage).

It is interesting that, instead of opening its declaration of war on Wholestone with the names of individual citizens, Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls is speaking in the name of mostly businesses and a handful of non-profits. The organizers seem to believe that the best way to mobilize opposition to a big, stinky pork plant is to speak in the name of businesses that bring home the bacon in Sioux Falls.


  1. Mark Anderson 2022-04-08

    It’s amazing that some people don’t like the smell of money.

  2. John 2022-04-08

    The plant is obsolete before it’s built.
    The technological transformation will disrupt the 150 year corporate agriculture industry – ever much as corporate agriculture disrupted hunter-gatherer/big family gardener/canning/meat smoking and seasonal gathering ice for the ice houses.
    The technological transformation is driving plant-based protein and synthetic protein costs far below those of achievable by corporate agriculture. The future for farmers is growing food, not feed; growing food, not fuel.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-04-08

    Is a human trophic level just the larder for a pack of predatory oligarchs who feed on miserable and quarrelsome superconsumers? Probably. It’s no secret that capitalists want to manipulate the food web and its supply chain but maybe they have some natural enemies after all.

    2500 gallons of water to grow one bushel of corn is unsustainable so Earth haters like Poet will ultimately close, right?

  4. All Mammal 2022-04-08

    The future, as Mr. John thankfully introduced us to here a month or so back, is Russ Finch’s geothermal Citrus in the Snow greenhouses. Thank you so much for the link, John. Mark my words, South Dakota will produce healthy food and so much more thanks to an Alliance, Nebraska retiree with 8th grade physics concepts and the free exchange of ideas facilitated by places like this.
    The good earth gifts us with everything we could ever need. So, unhealthy abutments against nature, like mega slaughter complexes are straight up devil worship. Consuming tortured, scared, miserable animals doesn’t automatically end that energy. We know energy cannot be created or destroyed, therefore that lifetime of putrid existence becomes a part of us. I don’t think many of us have consumed energy that was brought to this good earth in a natural selection, under the sun, as was meant to be. Its all GMO’ed and mechanically jacked off and AI’ed by some guy forcing the female into heat before maturity, and going in shoulder deep to implant the essence of some sire the heifer never laid eyes on. Doesn’t get any less right than that. And we wonder where all the trump bums are spawning from. I have participated in AI hundreds and hundreds of times and it is a miserable process all around.
    I want to feed the people nutritious food, grown at its own leisure, under the life bringing warm sun. Not some dark, scary warehouse trudging towards death with fear in the nostrils and crap up to their bellies, never knowing comfort from another soul.
    We become what we eat. And read.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2022-04-08

    The salespitch that this slaughterhouse won’t stink is worthy of Mike Lindell. I suppose there are many places that would like to have it, maybe Madison or Lennox, someplace with a very wide buffer of uninhabited land, but those towns would have to find a way to deal with the offal and manure, plus host a large workforce composed of first generation Americans. Sioux Falls has grown and prospered beyond its need to sacrifice quality of life for a basic, smelly, industry like this one.

  6. chris 2022-04-08

    What makes Paul Ten Haken different than your usual past mayor-of-Sioux Fallses, is his lackadaisical inattentiveness to the concerns of the powers-that-be who still reside in Sioux Falls. I like to think of him as Iowa’s third senator. I doubt he even knows who the Kirby’s are. Apparently he has been trying to distance himself from Noem in his campaign ads, so maybe dissing Bluestem is the way to do it.

  7. Jane Donahoe 2022-04-10

    Thank you for the list of hypocrites so I can avoid doing business with them. If they want something, they certainly will have the means and methods available to get it done. I love how it is assumed that the governor will just step in and waive her magic wand in their favor (which, since she is selling her soul and they are buying it, wouldn’t surprise me at all.). They don’t want agricultural business in South Dakota, that’s odd, don’t ya think? It seems there is blind spot in their vision of Sioux Falls, first we already have a slaughter house in THE MIDDLE of town, and a state prison that over looks it, where they carry out the DEATH PENALTY on humans! If they’re not opposed to that, then a hog processing plant should not bother them. Also, maybe they should take up their issues with Smithfield, with Smithfield. If you want the plant out of town, maybe some competition is the way to make them finally abandon their claim on the MOST VALUABLE land in town and leave, like all these business people really want. I think it’s funny that the letter writers are unabashedly saying, “we have money so we should get what we want.” It’s still only a handful of people, what do actual humans have to say about it? We’ll probably never know.

  8. chris 2022-04-11

    Well, the presence of some on the list may also have propensity for controlling the opposition. Hard to guess. I wouldn’t want folks like Jane to condemn them all if she is going all in on Big Pork, whenever and where-ever.

  9. jerry 2022-04-12

    Thanks to Steve Kirby’s position with NOem, Wall, South Dakota got a huge influx of cash for development. The state bypassed the closest city, New Underwood to bring lavish support to Wall. Now, who lives in Wall you might ask, why it’s Steve Kirby’s in laws. Booyah! Now you know how it all works.

  10. jerry 2022-04-12

    Wall Drug will find new workers, socialism at it’s finest.

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