Plan calls for cattle operation in county

Area farmer Jesse Anderson wants to build a cattle confinement barn on his farm southeast of Egan, increasing the number of animals initially by 450 head.

Anderson presented his plan Jan. 3, along with planning and zoning deputy Kendra Eng, to the Moody County Board of Adjustment. He has to apply for a variance on one of his buildings, and a decision on the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation is planned for Jan. 17.

Anderson, who lives on the farm, said he would have a 12-foot deep manure pit under the barn on the north side of his property, storage for about a year’s worth of waste. The barn would hold about 500 animals that would be raised for slaughter, while a south bedding barn would be used for about 200 animals. His application would allow for room to grown and could allow him to build a third barn for a total of 990 slaughter cattle.

Anderson’s farm is in Grovena Township, which also is the location for the Wildwood Dairy. Moody County has seen an increasing number of CAFOs that come with several requirements and regulations, depending on size.

But the township is not considered a concentrated area yet, Eng said.

Anderson said if approved, he plans to start building his barns in May or June, once roads have firmed up. He already has the approval and agreement with the rural water provider and has an agreement with enough landowners for spreading the waste.

None of the cattle will be outside, although there will be openings to provide the animals good air flow, he said. “Everything is going to be under a roof, 100 percent contained.”

A handful of neighbors attended the meeting to hear about specifics and ask questions. None spoke in objection of the plan.

After discussion of the CAFO, the Moody County Commission reviewed fees that the county charges for permits for 2018, including conditional use permits required for CAFOs. They approved changes in fees to charge $50 for building permits, instead of $25, plus a percent of the value of the construction.

Commissioners also changed conditional use permits and variance permits from $100 to $200 each. For CAFOs, the county will charge $200 for smaller class E and D CAFOs, $300 for class C, $400 for class B and $500 for class A, in an effort to cover the increased cost of county staff time to work on the permits.

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