Press "Enter" to skip to content

Top Five Uses for Bankrupt Veblen Mega-Dairies

Last updated on 2011.01.16

Rumors continue to swirl up around Veblen, South Dakota, as folks try to figure out just what will happen with the two giant, bankrupt dairies that are now up for liquidation. I hear from locals that police have been patrolling the Veblen East and Veblen West dairies over the past week, probably to make sure no one walks off with any cows.

But while we wait to see just how financier AgStar disposes of these economic and environmental boondoggles, here are the best five suggestions I've heard for what to do with the Veblen mega-dairies:

  1. Use the site for a public shaming of the man who made this mess, Richard Millner. (But hey, don't hurt the man: he still owes us taxes, doesn't he?)
  2. July 4th, C-4 explosive, bulldoze debris into lagoons, cover with top soil, raise $12 soybeans
  3. Raise goats. (Why not?)
  4. Make South Dakota the rollerskating capital of the world. Fargo has new roller derby team; maybe Veblen can do the same and host matches at Veblen East dairy site.
  5. Make site into national monument to stupid business practices. AgStar and other ag lenders can send new hires there to learn about mega farms and why they will always fail. Aging dairy farmers can send sons and daughters there to prove to Jr. that bigger is not always better. Burned investors and suppliers can gather there to heal. Maybe etch names in the concrete silage bunker wall showing the dollar amount each was bilked.


  1. snapper 2011.01.18

    I suggest goats.

  2. Tanner Brook 2011.01.18

    I say leave them open, and let someone utilize the facility the way it should be used, ie, milking cows.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.01.18

    Well, Tanner, if you can show me someone who can utilize the facilit the way it should be, milking cows in accordance with the obligations of its environmental permits and doing business honestly and paying all of its bills and taxes, I might not complain. But Veblen East and West have yet to be run in that fashion.

  4. Tanner Brook 2011.01.18

    Look about 80 miles east and south a little bit, im sure that Company can make it right. They run a pretty good business and seem to do things right.

  5. Charlie Moeller 2011.01.18

    I like your sense of humor, Cory, but agree with Tanner. While we would prefer to see milk production in the hands of smaller organizations, these ARE state of the art facilities and some group will buy them to be used as a dairy. The encouraging thoughts are: 1) it will not be Milner and 2) I believe DENR will be monitering them very closely.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.01.18

    80 miles east... is that a Minn. dairy?

    Charlie, find us some responsible investors who will run the dairy cleanly and honestly, and I can't complain (much

  7. Tanner Brook 2011.01.18

    Yes, 80 miles East does put you in minnesota. Im referring to Riverview Farms. They own and operate 6 dairies and have close to 30,000 cows. They do things right.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.01.18

    Riverview—they got some good press last week. I've even given them some good coverage, although I still have misgivings about generateing that much waste in one place.

  9. alan 2011.01.18

    I have worked around riverveiw CLEAN...RAN GOOD...there no misgivings about it....if they had these barns they would be night and day different then it is now

  10. jim 2011.01.18

    Your ideas are with merit. You talk just like most people, including me,
    using the name Millner when you really are referring to Millner and his minions. Richard Eugene Millner is the head bad guy, but the rest of the boys smell bad too.
    The facility east of Veblen is big enough for a jail for the entire Dairy Dozen .

  11. Tanner Brook 2011.01.19

    Rumors is there could be some new owners taking over later today.

  12. alan 2011.01.19

    any ideas or rumors who it is??

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.01.19

    No doubt, Tanner! Who's the buyer?! Have any of the previous owners rounded up new capital?

  14. Tanner Brook 2011.01.20

    90% positive on a brand new owner.

  15. bigal 2011.01.20

    thats what i heard...riverview dairy........

  16. Tanner Brook 2011.01.21

    Bingo, shoud know middle next week is what im hearing.

  17. alan 2011.01.21

    yep,,,riverview farms bought the cow...leasing the barns for now... if this is ture....there going to be major changes up there....and for the goood.....

  18. alan 2011.01.26

    any more rumors???

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.01.26

    No rumor: Riverview has offered to buy the whole kit and kaboodle, East and West. Banlruptcy trustees Pierce and Allred have moved for clarification of one technicality holding up the sale. I have the court documents verifying the offer; blog post coming up later today!

  20. Tanner Brook 2011.01.26

    New market for milk starting on friday, is what im hearing.

  21. loren david 2011.02.06

    millner should be jailed for all his lies and cheating us farmers, riverview needs to compensate us for our losses if they expect to stay in operation, we all were part of this whole mess by millner, and riverview needs to add our damages in their total costs or i will have nothing to do with them, sure anyone can be the hero coming in at this stage and with the breaks they are getting, millner organized this whole business but hius ideas and head swelled and forgot to pay his bills

  22. Johnny 2012.02.05

    Hey everyone I am from Ireland anyone on here know if Drumgoon dairies south Dakota is still in operation?

  23. Linda McIntyre 2012.02.05

    Just drove by Drumgoon dairy near Watertown today. By the number of bales surrounding their barns, I assume they are!

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.02.05

    Thank you, roving reporter Linda! :-)

Comments are closed.