Last updated on 2013.03.10
The South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture's major crop this year is sour grapes. Hundreds of Hanson County residents turn back a proposal to damage their roads and water and air with a 7000-head concentrated animal feeding operation, and Secretary Walt Bones moans that he's "disappointed":
I am disappointed with the loss of opportunity for farmers to add value to the crops they raise while saving transportation costs with higher fuel prices.... We support local control and local farmers and ranchers, and their ability to get more for everything they raise [Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones, quoted by Chris Mueller, "'Loss of Opportunity' Lamented in Hanson County Dairy," Mitchell Daily Republic, September 14, 2012].
Remember that Walt Bones is a big dairy man, even though he's never milked a cow himself. Secretary Bones now happily promotes the state-sponsored decimation of small dairies, a concentration of power and cow poop in fewer, often non-local hands from which he himself reaps great profit.
Local farmers in Hanson County opposed Michael Crinion's 7000-head dairy. They challenged the building and water permits. They saw their own state government in the form of Walt Bones come promote big money over their local interests (and expose his own embarrassing ignorance in the process). But they prevailed, winning the argument that Crinion's CAFO and their county government weren't playing by the rules.
For Mueller's article, Secretary Bones trots out a minion to repeat that the Ag Department will be waging a propaganda offensive to get counties to back off on those darned zoning regulations that put local health, welfare, and road budgets over the interests of his dairy chums.
Walt Bones doesn't want local control. He wants control of the locals so big dairies like his can do whatever they want for profit. Profit isn't a dirty word, but Walt Bones's version of anarcho-dairy-capitalism is.