Planning commission OKs feedlot expansion
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit Monday for the expansion of a feedlot located east of Willmar. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will take final action on the permit at their meeting...
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit Monday for the expansion of a feedlot located east of Willmar.
The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will take final action on the permit at their meeting Dec. 19.
Tom Gustafson is seeking to expand a feedlot where he raises replacement heifers for a neighboring dairy farmer.
Gustafson, who farms with his son, Riley, currently raises 400 dairy heifers and 20 calves, or the equivalent of 284 animal units. If the permit is granted, he would expand the feedlot to include 975 replacement dairy heifers, or the equivalent of 682 animal units.
Ed Huseby, a member of the Planning Commission, said he was impressed with Gustafson's "environmentally friendly" operation and recommended approval of the permit.
"It's a neat, well managed operation," said Dennis Goehring, chairman of the Planning Commission.
Gustafson said his farm recently met the stiff criteria for receiving the voluntary "five star" dairy certification, which awards dairy farmers for meeting environmental standards in their operation.
There was no one to speak against the proposed expansion.
In July, when the family had sought a permit to expand the feedlot across the road at Riley Gustafson's farm site, a neighbor and several residents from Willmar had opposed the plan. The farms are about 2¾ miles from Willmar and some thought the feedlot expansion would bring odors too close to town.
Two conditions placed on the permit are that dead animals be properly removed and that state rules for proper manure management be followed.
The Planning Commission also approved a change to the comprehensive plan that will promote residential growth to occur in areas that are, or will soon be supplied with municipal services, which could include land within the urban growth boundaries of a town.