Weather Forecast


Livestock expansion gets initial approval

WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Planning Commission granted initial approval for three livestock expansion projects during its Wednesday night meeting in Worthington. All three requests for conditional use permits will now advance to the Nobles County Board of Commissioners for final action on July 8.

Trent Slater of rural Rushmore had sought a conditional use permit to move in four 12- by 60-foot former swine nursery barns on a site in the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 13, Larkin Township. The barns will be renovated and aligned to allow for a walkway in between for feeding approximately 200 head of calves. A shallow pit will be constructed below the barns.

Earlier in the evening, Slater requested a variance to place the four barns closer than the required setback from a property line and road right-of-way.

To obtain a variance, Slater was required to prove a hardship in putting the barns elsewhere on the property and abide by the required 100-foot setback from a county road on the west and a 100-foot setback from the property line on the north. His plans for the site puts the barns 60 feet from the county road and 28 feet from the property line.

“The reason we want them over there is we have to stay away from the well (on the east side),” Slater told the county’s Board of Adjustment. “It’s kind of hard to get squeezed in on seven acres there.”

Board of Adjustment member Byron Swart asked if the barns couldn’t be placed on the southwest corner of the site.

“Some day I’d like to put a deep-pitted barn there,” Slater said. 

Meanwhile, the land has too much slope on the north side. Slater said that area was flooded by recent rains.

"The Board of Adjustment approved Slater’s variance request in a 4-1 vote, with Swart in opposition. Later in the evening, the Planning Commission approved his conditional use permit in a unanimous vote.

Also approved were:

* A request from Knips Brothers of Magnolia for a conditional use permit to construct a cattle finishing barn with a concrete pit below, in the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 31, Lismore Township. Mark Knips said the barn will hold 900 head of cattle.

Nobles County Feedlot Officer Alan Langseth said the Knips feedlot is already permitted as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and the new expansion plan is currently under a 30-day comment period by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The farm is expanding from 1,499 animal units to 2,113 animal units.

* A request from Richard Zebe, Adrian, to construct a 2,400-head hog finishing building with a concrete pit below in the southwest quarter of Section 5, Grand Prairie Township.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

(507) 376-7330