Ag Business Briefs

FF Editor
Farm Forum

2,117 acres of

farmland to be


More than 2,100 contiguous acres of Faulk County farmland will be up for auction on March 7.

The sale includes 2,117 acres in all and 1,972 acres of dry cropland, said Max Steffes of Steffes Group, the company overseeing the auction.

He said the owners of the land, Anthony and Joshua Meier, are getting out of farming. Hence, the decision to sell.

A grain bin with approximately 270,000 bushels of storage, a shop, a granary, a machine shed and a three-bedroom house with attached garage are part of the auction.

“The farm real estate deal is such a generational deal and a scarce asset,” Steffes said.

Shannon Sand, livestock business management field specialist for South Dakota State University Extension, said this type of land sale is rare.

“A lot of times they split up,” she said.

“I’m just surprised that they’re selling it all in one go as opposed to section by section and, quite frankly, you might be able to get more money for it” selling it by sections, Sand said.

The auction will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dakota Event Center, 720 S. Lamont St., in Aberdeen. Online bidding will be available by prior arrangement.

For more information, visit

— by Shannon Marvel, American News reporter

7,740-head hog

operation approved by Brown County Planning and Zoning


A 7,740-head hog operation was approved by the Brown County Planning and Zoning Commission last week.

It includes a set of stipulations.

Planning and Zoning Director Scott Bader said conditions of approval include that:

• A signed waiver for setbacks from one residential landowner be submitted to and filed in the Register of Deeds Office.

• A road haul agreement be submitted to and approved by Garden Prairie Township.

• A tree belt on the north side of the project be planted farther south than originally planned as part of an agreement with the adjacent landowner.

• The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources approve the hog operation’s final review.

The hog operation would be 7 miles east and 2 1/2 miles south of Stratford and owned by Elm Valley Farm, LLC, Bader said.

The state will accept public accept public comments about the project before giving final approval. The commenting process is not yet open. When it does, a notice will be posted on the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources website at That will also be where comments can be made.

— Shannon Marvel, American News reporter

Mystery remains for South Dakota

rancher’s poisoned cattle

HOWARD, S.D. (AP) — The case of an eastern South Dakota rancher whose 44 cattle were mysteriously poisoned and killed on Halloween remains unsolved.

The state Department of Criminal Investigation hasn’t been able to track down cattle-killer.

Bernard Donahue tells KELO-TV that his family had been keeping 65 cattle on a rented pasture in Miner County when someone poisoned the water tank last October. By the next day, 44 of their cattle were dead, including a bull.

Donahue says the tank smelled like rotten eggs or ammonia. He says water samples were taken for testing, but there hasn’t been confirmation of what chemical was used. A veterinarian called to the scene says an ammonia source can dissolve and disappear in water.

County Sheriff Lanny Klinkhammer is confident the killer will be caught eventually.

One charged in stock trailer theft

Two counts of felony theft are being sought in Otter Tail County courts against a 25-year-old Fergus Falls woman accused of twice stealing a livestock trailer from a farm property in Sebeka, Minn.

According to the official court complaint filed on Feb. 21, deputies with the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office received information on Dec. 29 of the first theft when an out-of-state complainant produced surveillance footage of the incident. Several days later, the report explains that the trailer was returned to the residence.

On Feb. 10, an email once again alerted authorities to a theft from the same rural property. As in the first matter, a video recording was provided, this time from the early-morning hours of Feb. 9, which allegedly showed an individual in a gray, extended-cab pickup who pulled up to the trailer, secured it and drove away with the stolen property in tow.

Officers note that the pickup was the same make, model and color as the one utilized in the initial theft weeks earlier.

Finally, on Feb. 19, the complaint says that a deputy on patrol on State Highway 78 observed a vehicle matching the description of the suspect truck and initiated a traffic stop after learning the registered owner had a suspended driver’s license. An interview of the driver during that encounter led investigators to a residence in Wadena County, where the livestock trailer is said to have been recovered.

Now, 25-year-old Mary Alice Vry is facing two charges of felony theft of property — one charge for each of the reported incidents. A citation was also served to Vry for driving after suspension, according to a separate report from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office.

— Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Minn., McClatchy-Tribune Information Services