Jackrabbit Farms, a new 5000-head hog farm south of Mount Vernon, is making a stink:
Neighbor Lyle Reimnitz said company representatives told him before construction that the facility would smell less than 2 percent of the time, and that hasn't been the case.
"I'm going to have to live there. I don't plan on dying any time today," Reimnitz said. "And I will not live with that stench in my yard."
Barry Kerkaert, a veterinarian with facility manager Pipestone System, said officials never promised that Jackrabbit Farms would be odor-free. Pipestone attorney Sean Simpson said the company has done what the county and neighbors have asked, including spending $30,000 on biofilters.
"What I suspect is that we're in a position where we'll never fully satisfy the neighbors of the smell," Simpson said. "Until there's scientific data supporting some of this, we're not just going to spend money every month or year to try to meet these unreasonable requests" ["South Dakota Hog Farm, Neighbors Battle over Smell," AP via Rapid City Journal, 2014.08.14].
Yes, because it's unreasonable to expect a business to live up to its claims and not make life unbearable for its neighbors.
You know, all those service jobs toward which South Dakota's economy is shifting don't emit nearly as many noxious fumes. Maybe instead of expending resources to promote polluting mega-dairies and help counties identify sites for giant, smelly concentrated animal feeding operations like Jackrabbit Farms, the state should consider helping counties attract businesses with less noxious impact on air and water.
By the way, Davison County neighbors, recall that Rep. Kristi Noem showed up at the Jackrabbit Family Farms' opening last year to say the hog lot would be great for family farms and national security. It would be nice if she would as eagerly drop by neighboring houses when the breeze carrying the stench of 5000 pigs' worth of poop imprisons neighbors in their homes. Neighbors, you can extend that invitation to Noem at DakotaFest next week on Tuesday, August 19.
Noem is touring nearby towns already, but she wants to hear about people's frustration with government, not people's frustration with corporations.