OUR VIEW: If not in rural SD, where?Things sure have changed in the world of agriculture, and we’re just not sure where we stand as 21st century farming gets under way.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Aurora County is on the hook for a $1.2 million payout to farmers who say the county inappropriately thwarted their efforts to expand their dairy business.
In Hanson County, residents this year successfully stalled a planned dairy that would have been built north of Alexandria.
Things sure have changed in the world of agriculture, and we’re just not sure where we stand as 21st century farming gets under way.
We are certain of one thing: Big ag business on the great and heretofore wide open prairies could be in trouble.
In Aurora County, the farmers — members of the Thompson family — claimed successfully that a 1998 zoning ordinance adopted by the county and the county’s later 2001 denial of a building permit inappropriately prohibited their business plans.
Last week, the settlement amount was reached, and Aurora County taxpayers — not the insurance company, thanks to county officials’ failure to provide timely notice of the litigation — will pay the settlement through the aid of bonds.
In Hanson County, backers of a controversial dairy pulled back their request for a water permit. That move came after staunch opposition against the dairy, mostly from residents in Hanson County.
Today, we aren’t taking sides. We understand that people get nervous about large development, and especially in their own backyards. And once those big projects are built, they aren’t going anywhere.
Neighbors have a right to be edgy.
But both of these cases tend to show that future development of large agricultural operations may be in jeopardy, since county officials and rural residents alike are showing trends of fierce opposition.
Today, our only question is this: If farmers, ranchers and rural developers cannot operate their businesses in the country and once appropriate rural areas, where can they do it?