WATCH THIS MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Tanya Svec talks about protecting land and resources for the future of South Dakota

Earlier this year East Dakota Beef LLC applied to rezone a parcel of land from Agriculture to Commercial/Industrial. Over the past couple of months, neighbors who lived closest to the original proposed site on the northeast corner of the intersection of SD Highway 28 and 471st Avenue in Deuel County have opposed the project during county commissioner meetings. On Tuesday, October 19th, the county commissioners voted against the rezoning, and prevented the project from moving forward at the site. This meant that not only do the neighbors who live close by not have to worry about coming back to countless other permit hearings to ensure that the plant was following proper safety procedures or worry about what exactly they would end up living next to, but it was also a prime example of what can happen when community members and neighbors come together and show their officials that they care about their community. 

Now, Dakota Rural Action and our members are considering: where do we go from here? How do we support an alternative to this processing plant? As the pandemic has shown us, we need to decentralize the packing industry and move to smaller facilities in order to support small producers, protect the environment, and create a resilient food system that doesn’t break down at the first signs of trouble. There is clearly a demand for more processing plants, but it is important we continue to promote small, local meat processors that don’t have the negative environmental impacts of larger plants. 

Are you a producer or rancher who would like to see more small meat lockers in South Dakota? Or a meat locker that struggles to meet demand? Join our Rural Vitality Committee as we begin to organize around this issue. Message us for more information, or contact Lilli DiPaola: (605) 697-5204 ext. 270 | 


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