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OUR VIEW: Process worked with hog permit application

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opinion Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Barring a lawsuit to stop it, a new hog facility appears headed toward reality in southern Davison County. Tuesday, members of the Davison County Commission voted 4-0-1 to allow the facility to proceed, despite protests from landowners who live in the affected neighborhood.

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We do feel for those landowners, but we also feel the commission was right to allow the barn's owners, Jackrabbit Family Farms, to proceed with the project.

The commission said Jackrabbit Family Farms showed "due diligence in the application process in meeting the requirements of the Davison County Comprehensive Plan, and has shown compliance in meeting county standards for an animal feeding operation."

Considering that, it's hard to argue that the hog facility should not be built.

With a projected capacity of 5,400 sows, the Jackrabbit Family Farms project may produce some foul smells. And although we don't know much about the hog business, we suspect it will produce plenty of waste, too.

But if the farm meets all of the obligations laid out by the county, how can its construction be denied?

We are convinced hog farmers are good people who are just trying to earn a living. We do not suspect their facilities are erected out of spite, nor do we accuse them of ill intent with their businesses.

In fact, they serve a grand purpose -- they help ensure a good supply of pork products are at the ready for those of us who enjoy such things. They also provide jobs and pay taxes.

They sought permission to build and were given the go-ahead.

And they do this all of this out in the country, where such projects are not only allowed but generally expected.

If a hog operation can't gain approval to build 10 miles out of town in a rural area, where can such places ever hope to set up shop?

We don't personally know the owners of Jackrabbit Family Farms. We also aren't close to those nearby landowners who say they will be affected by the hog barn's placement in southern Davison County.

We just stress that in the view of the Davison County Commission, the required obligations were met by the hog-barn backers, so it's only right they be allowed to begin construction.

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