County approves permit for 9,500-head dairy facility

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Swift County has approved a conditional use permit for the construction of a 9,500 head dairy in Section 36 of Swenoda Township six miles south of Benson just to the west of Minnesota Highway 29 south.

There was no opposition to the permit approval at the county board’s March 6 meeting.

A few facts about the dairy:

  • It will produce eight semi loads of milk each day, or near 50,000 gallons per day.
  • The main building on the site will be 610 feet by 1,525 feet for a total of 930,250 square feet – or 23.36 acres under a roof. That is about five plus city blocks.
  • The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has given it a permit to draw 120 million gallons of water annually.
  • It will generate about 85 million gallons of manure annually
  • It has 7,383 acres listed for spreading its manure with the spreading to take place mostly in the fall, but spring and summer spreading is possible as well.
  • It will employ about 50 people with housing on site for 24.
  • The annual wages paid will be around $3 million.
  • The dairy will cost nearly $60 million to put into operation.

It is to be constructed on land owned by Stan and Katherine Claussen with Riverview, LLP, listed as the purchaser of the facility.

Members of the county board and county planning commission visited the site to talk over the proposed plan. County board members also toured the Louriston Riverview Dairy in Louriston Township on the Swift County-Chippewa County border south of Murdock. It also is a 9500-head facility and started operations late last fall.

A public hearing was conducted by the planning commission March 5 with 45 to 50 people attending, Swift County Environmental Services Director Scott Collins told commissioners at their March 6 meeting. There was about an hour-and-a-half of conversation at the hearing, Collins said. The planning commission unanimously approved the conditional use permit (CUP).

The issue of small dairies versus large dairies was raised, he told commissioners. The impact on township roads in the area was another issue....


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