Sioux Falls voters reject slaughterhouse ban

Voters in Sioux Falls, S.D., rejected a proposal to ban more slaughterhouses in the city, but the legal fight over a proposed “custom slaughterhouse,” but a legal fight continues, the Argus Leader reported.
The Leader said that 48 percent of voters supported the ban on packing houses within city limits, while 52 percent opposed the proposed ban.

More than 71,830 ballots were cast overall in the race, according to the South Dakota Secretary of State website.
Wholestone Farms Chairman of the Board Luke Minion said in an official statement,
“Wholestone Farms is grateful for the vote outcome and thankful for Sioux Falls voters for their support. Thanks to all that supported us throughout this 4+ year process.
Wholestone Farms will continue to operate The Butcher Shop, our custom butcher shop in Sioux Falls. We appreciate the continued right to expand our project for our 200 family farmers that own Wholestone Farms.”

A large biofuel company – POET – had gained much attention for strongly opposing the building of the plant at the proposed location. POET’s headquarters, where about 340 staff go to work, is near the proposed plant location.
POET shared the following comment after the election:
As South Dakota’s largest ag company, POET is and has always been dedicated to creating opportunities for farm families by growing value-added agriculture. We support all types of ag processing; we simply believe that these sorts of projects belong in rural areas. We supported the effort because we believe that new slaughterhouses in Sioux Falls city limits affect far more than just one house or neighborhood; they impact our entire community.

We wanted the people to decide on this issue, and they did. The election process worked as it is supposed to. We’re proud of the work we did, and we would do it again.

POET is a privately held company with more than 3,000 farmer investors. The company purchases corn, adds value by creating ethanol and selling that fuel into the market, along with co-products such as distillers grains, corn oil, dry ice and more, said Shields.
The company owns 33 bio-ethanol facilities across the United States, with plants near Chancellor, Hudson, and Mitchell being some of the ones in close proximity to Sioux Falls.
Shields said his company would “never build a bio ethanol plant inside a major metropolitan city because of the potential impact on the surrounding community.”
The impact on property values is one of POET’s concerns with the pork plant. Additionally, his company wants to protect the value of its headquarters and its ability to attract “world class talent to live and work here,” he said. Odor, air and water quality are some of POET’s concerns.
In an earlier TSLN story, Wholestone’s board chairman, Luke Minion, said the 170 acres his company purchased for this project is zoned for industrial use and that the parcel has no buildings on it save for a custom packing plant in the construction phase.