Last updated on 2014.10.08
Concerned Citizens of Hanson County have beat back a proposal for a 7000-head mega-dairy near Fulton. After trying for over five years to bring this development to Hanson County, Brookings-based dairy developer Michael Crinion has withdrawn his application to the state Water Management Board for the huge aquifer withdrawals it would have needed to tend all those milk-makers. Last month, Judge Tim Bjorkman canceled Crinion's building permit, finding the county had illegally extended the permit beyond its proper term. Thus, if Crinion ever decides to renew his push to bring all those cows and all that cow poop to Fulton, he'll need to start from scratch on all the paperwork.
Embattled and often belittled State Representative Stace Nelson has played a key role in organizing the folks in his community to fight this mega-dairy. He grilled state Ag Secretary and dairy man Walt Bones at the dairy's hearing before the Water Management Board last year, driving Bones to an embarrassing case of near-perjury. Nelson's efforts on behalf of his neighbors triggered many of the political repercussions he suffered at the hands of his own party during the past year. Yet Rep. Nelson kept fighting for his constituents, rounding up legal support (over $25,000 of legal expenses covered mostly by local donations), making t-shirts for public demonstrations of opposition, and helping his neighbors realize their power to fight big money and big government to protect their county from cow crap.
Rep. Nelson says he's "ecstatic" that his neighbors have won and can put this issue behind them. I'm ecstatic, too, that Stace Nelson organized people in his community for positive action.
In other words, Stace Nelson is a community organizer, just like that nice Barack Obama fellow. And he and his organized community have done good. I'm pleased to see that Rep. Nelson has provided an excellent local example of how community organizers do fine and respectable work.