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Initiative Opponents Outraising Slaughterhouse Opponents in Sioux Falls

On September 20, Christine Erickson, president of the South Dakota Trucking Association, and Lorin Pankratz, lobbyist for the South Dakota Pork Producers Council, organized “Sioux Falls Open for Business“, a municipal ballot question committee to fight Smart Growth Sioux Falls’s ballot initiative seeking to block construction of the Wholestone Farms hog slaughterhouse in Sioux Falls. On Wednesday, SFOB filed its first campaign finance report, showing $169,134 in income, $36,922.99 spent, and $132,211.01 on hand for the remaining month of campaigning.

The biggest donation to the Vote No campaign is $125,000 from the South Dakota Soybean Association, which evidently hopes to sell more feed to all those little piggies. Wholestone Farms’ parent company, Pipestone Holdings, has chipped in another $10,000, and Wholestone boss Luke Minion is in for another $5,000.

Take out Minion’s cash, and SFOB reports $26,085 in itemized individual contributions. 78.8% of those contributions, 33 of the 46 listed, came from addresses outside South Dakota. Only seven individual donors besides Minion list Sioux Falls addresses. Three corporate donations totaling $1,650 come from Kingston, Illinois.

Meanwhile, slaughterhouse-ban proponents Smart Growth Sioux Falls report $80,849 in new contributions in September, $31,444 in new spending, and $59,932.43 on hand. 23.5% of their itemized individual contributions come from Minnesota; the rest comes from South Dakota addresses. $22,500 comes from seven donors in Sioux Falls or Brandon; $10,000 comes from Brian Gunderson of North Sioux City.

86% of proponent corporate money came from Sioux Falls addresses; $5,000 came from the Bockorny Group of Washington, DC. The Minneapolis law firm of Robins Kaplan kicked in $1,000 from its PAC.


  1. Anne Beal 2022-10-07

    good. If there is more than one packing plant in the area, the competition will result in higher prices for the farmers.

    Since the neighborhood this plant will go into is occupied by the residents of the Sioux Falls Humane society and the Veterans’ Cemetery, and next door to the SFHS is the SDNG training facility, one has to wonder who is behind the opposition because it sure isn’t the cats, dogs, or veterans doing all the complaining.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-10-07

    Capitalism without competition is exploitation. Author David Gelles is making the case that Jack Welch destroyed American democracy with predatory capitalism and through unprecedented fraud. According to Gelles, rabid Republican Welch even ordered GE-owned NBC to call the 2000 presidential election for George W. Bush despite Vice President Al Gore clearly winning the popular vote and an electoral college in crisis. Despair and desperation will always give the underground economy markets for people looking for any remedy to make the pain go away. So, the callous denial of most Republicans that capitalism is failing an ever-growing number of Americans and driving crime rates higher while blaming their own victims will crush this republic before they will ever raise wages.

  3. jim 2022-10-07

    I think both sides will have what they need to get the message out. These hog producers with the 500 million dollar budget sure will.

    I don’t live anywhere near Smithfield but, if the wind is right, I can smell it in my yard. I can almost always smell it on the bike trail up in that area. Bringing another one into town when they can’t regulate the one we already have is crazy. There are virtually no regulations on odors in Sioux Falls or South Dakota. This plant belongs miles out of town and, even then, neighbors will not be thrilled about it.

    In 2022, you don’t plop a big slaughterhouse inside city limits where it can impact 200,000 residents. Sioux Falls would be known as that stinky slaughterhouse town. And there is no getting rid of it once it’s here. Sorry Anne, you can’t tell me that only cats and dogs will smell it. I know better.

    Don’t let Wholestone push us around. They say they will build this even if we vote it down. What an arrogant attitude. We have to vote against it and keep the pressure on our city officials – or this will happen.

  4. P. Aitch 2022-10-07

    Sioux Falls residents (the voice that REALLY matters) should reject agriculture as the majority component of their micro-politan city.
    High tech is Sioux Falls residents’ ticket to revitalization, job growth, and sustainability not agriculture.
    Every high-tech hub in America began in an agricultural sector and grew to great prosperity while Big-Ag moved on to more rural areas.
    Ag can go many places and set up shop in SD and continue to be the majority business in South Dakota.
    Its era has, however passed within the largest and most progressive micro-politian stronghold.

  5. Greg Deplorable 2022-10-07

    The investors may ask themselves in a few years (as they are writing checks for capital calls), “why did we fight so hard to build this thing?”

    The profit in the meat business is selling meat, not slaughtering it.

    Even if they build, Broin could get the last laugh.

  6. grudznick 2022-10-07

    Don’t make Sioux Falls City even more like Iowa, where it stinks real bad I’m told.

  7. 96Tears 2022-10-07

    The most interesting battle lines since Noem’s and Schoenbeck’s Whack-a-doo Purge.

  8. Donald Pay 2022-10-08

    P Aitch is correct. This plant is too big, and should be sited elsewhere. Also, putting it in Sioux Falls makes it a national security and food security nightmare in the event of some natural or man-made disaster. Key food processing facilities need to be spaced out. This would concentrate 10 percent of pork production in on small area. That is just plain stupidity.

  9. RS 2022-10-11

    At Rotary in Sioux Falls proponents say 1. At a retrofitted Wholestone plant in Fremont NE the new technology is used to control smell. 2 Then follow with this new technology does not exist in any plant. If it doesn’t exist, how do they know it will work or doesn’t Freemont NE exist?

    Next, are there currently enough swine facilities in the Sioux Falls area. to bring another 6 million hogs to town? Proponents say that we have the corn and soybeans to raise the extra pigs, so the answer must be no we don’t have them now. Therefore are we looking at buildings for 6 million more hogs in the area that surrounds Sioux Falls and since there hasn’t been any demonstrated technology to control odors of barns and manure applications to fields we can expect wind of any direction to impact Sioux Falls not just the NE corner of city.

    As far as competition for the local farmers to sell, it will be short lived. We have 4 major beef packers in the US and they collude to hold prices down. It will be much easier with only two parties to do the same with pork. And when the big boys and the SD Gov of Eco Devel get done building mega swine units like the mega dairies they won’t need anyone that can’t supply them 1000s of head a week.

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