I want to commend Bruce Jensen to challenge the Yankton County Commission and the Yankton County Planning and Zoning Board on Article 5, which deals with the setbacks and number of animal units in Yankton County.

Two hypotheticals: One person purchases 20 acres to build a home and another person purchases two acres to build a home or start a business. In either situation, what would prevent the adjacent landowner or farmer to create a CAFO of any kind next to either of these two properties? NONE. This is the reason for reasonable setbacks: to ensure that Economic Development and Investments made in Yankton County are protected. In either of those cases, who would roll the dice without some protection?

The other issue is that in probably 5-10 years, Yankton will lose half its farmers due to age. Who will buy their homes? Or worse, what will their homes be worth? With new technology and larger farm equipment, one person could easily farm 10,000 acres.

Both the commission and the board need to come to a conclusion on this issue. It truly is an economic issue,11 and if Yankton County outskirts become a “desert” for economic development,  what have we won? I would say close to 100% of the city folk are not going to move out into the country. The cost to build a home, develop and purchase the property will probably be close to $200,000 — and how many can afford that? And if they could, would they not want some assurance that a CAFO, any type of farm animal operation, will not pop up next door?

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