Appeals Court Clears Way for Large Hog Farm in SE Minnesota

December 18, 2017 09:24 PM

A family owned farming company in southern Minnesota can move forward with plans to develop a feedlot capable of holding more than 4,000 hogs at once, the state Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

Neighboring farmers who filed a lawsuit against Circle K Family farms are debating if they will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

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Those farmers argued the feedlot would negatively impact air and water quality, as well as diminish their property values.

RELATED: Court of Appeals Tosses Out Hog Farm Lawsuit on Technicality

"If they decrease our property value, they cannot put it up," Frederick Fredrickson said.

His family has owned the farmland adjacent to the proposed feedlot since 1942.

"If something smells sky high, do you think someone is going to buy and move in?" he said.

However, the three judge panel found that argument "lacks merit" and "substantiated, concrete evidence."

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found the proposed project " … did not pose a risk of potential significant environmental effects."

Goodhue County later approved the project after deeming that it met all zoning regulations.

"I proposed a project that I thought would follow their zoning laws and they agreed," said Yon Kohlnhofer, who has owned and operated Circle K Family farms with his brothers for 30 years. "This is not a new type of farming."

Their neighbors argued that the county violated its own zoning laws by approving the project, but that decision was "not unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious, or contrary to law," according to Monday's ruling.

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Joe Augustine

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