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Letter: 'Big ag' is on an intimidation campaign

The BOA's responsibility is to follow the intent of county ordinances as well as the goals outlined in the Winona County Comprehensive Plan.

Letter to the Editor graphic

Daley Farm and their Big Ag lawyer are back before the Winona County Board of Adjustment (BOA) on Dec. 2, 2021. Another blatant attempt to blow through the county's feedlot animal unit cap by abusing the variance process. Their lawyer has successfully quashed any further public comment, but the record hasn't changed. The request does not meet all criteria for a variance, and litigation challenging the animal unit cap was always the end game.

The BOA's responsibility is to follow the intent of county ordinances as well as the goals outlined in the Winona County Comprehensive Plan and follow the eight criteria for granting a variance. Despite the bias smokescreen kicked up by Daleys, their corporate ag lawyer, and two members of the County Board about the first BOA hearing, the decision was the correct one. There were no unique specific circumstances not created by the Daleys necessitating request for a variance. Economics alone -- their stated desire to employ more family members -- is the reason for their request to exceed the Winona County animal unit cap of 1,500.

In southeastern Minnesota we're losing small-town elevators, milk processing and feed stores. Well water isn't safe to drink. These are all consequences of the consolidation encouraged and abetted by groups promoting go big or go home. The Daley expansion is simply an avenue for them to intimidate local governments into giving them what they want.

Tessa Schweitzer, St. Charles

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