Yankton farmers fight to appeal permits to build hog farms


by Taylor Deckert, KMEG (IA)

January 7th 2020


YANKTON, S.D A group of hog farmers in Yankton County, South Dakota says they're not only battling the elements but local government too, to expand their operations.


One of those farmers says he feels like county officials have pulled the rug out from under him.


"It's costing me money every day that that building is not raising animals," said Jay Cutts, a Yankton county farmer.


Cutts is one of 5 Yankton farmers who are trying to appeal building permits the county says have expired, leaving him with an unfinished hog farm that's designed to house 2,400 hogs.


He's appealing a ruling from the county's zoning administrator that they hadn't started work on the project within 180 days from when the permit was first granted in November of 2018, a decision upheld by Yankton County's board of commissioners.


Cutts blames wet weather and flooding for delays to the project but disputes the county's judgment that work on the properties hadn't begun within the 180 day period. His permit expired in May 2019.


"Work had been started, contractors had been contacted, and a DNR permit had been applied for, but they are not considering that work on a project."


Cutts' building was supposed to be finished during the summer months, but right now his farm has a basement built with the flooring above it where the hogs will live but have not done anything further to the structure.


Neighbors of these farmers were adding to the process by filing complaints with the county, adding to the case.


The hog farm being zoned is one of 3 hog farms...