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Hubbub over hogsHubbub over hogs

Something stinks about the latest hog farm debate in the Dakotas, and it isn't the hogs!

February 3, 2016

2 Min Read

I live out in the country. If a hog farm were proposed to be built a half mile from me, I’d be worried.

If it was a mile away, yes, I’d still be worried about how it would affect my property.

If it was two miles, well then, maybe I wouldn’t be as concerned.


The upshot is that I understand what people in Buffalo, N.D., are worried about. There’s a proposal to build a 9,000-sow hog farm a couple miles from town. Lots of local people are upset. They don’t want the barns to be built. They’ll say that farm will pollute the air and water, reduce property values and hurt their community. The North Dakota Health Department scheduled a hearing about the hog farm for March 17. But, truthfully, there probably isn’t anything that can be said now to change people’s minds.

The developers will eventually probably have to go to court to get a hog farm built.

In other parts of the country, a new hog farm would be a welcome addition to the economy. Sioux County, Iowa, is the closest example of where livestock is welcome. It’s part of the heritage there.

In the Dakotas, the culture is one of grain and beef. We like our horizons filled with wheat and hills covered with mama cows and their calves.

Also, it’s clear there is a double standard for land use North Dakota.

Oil companies have been able to drill pretty much wherever they wanted in western North Dakota. The setback from an occupied dwelling is only 500 feet.

They are able build roads to their drill pads through grain fields and pastures.

They are able to crisscross the land with a maze of pipelines.

They are able to put so many trucks on the roads that the highways are no longer safe.

At the peak of the oil boom, they had brought in so many workers that prostitution and drug dealing had become commonplace. Police and sheriff departments were overwhelmed..

But a couple farm families can’t put up a hog barn in eastern North Dakota? Something isn’t right.

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