HAZEL, S.D. (KELO) — People in Hamlin County gathered in Hazel, South Dakota tonight to hear plans by one of the largest dairy farms in the country.
Over 100 attendees packed the Hazel Community Center to hear about the new proposed dairy farm.
The proposed 86 million dollar facility will span over 250 acres and will hold over 12,000 cows. The land will be provided by Governor Noem’s brothers Rock and Robb Arnold.
I spoke with Rock Arnold briefly before the meeting and he said one of their main motivators for bringing this project here to Hazel was to revitalize the community and bring more jobs to this area.
“They have small town values. They want to be a member and partner in our community whose employees will seek to go to school and build lives here,” said Rock Arnold, resident and landowner.
After the presentation the floor was opened to the public for questions and concerns. Some of the topics included road and water use, odor prevention and labor.
“What are your plans for infrastructure and roads around the area what do you foresee happening there?” said Mark K, resident.
Bryant Mayor, Win Noem, attended the meeting to share what his community has seen with Riverview dairy farm over the last five years.
“In small town South Dakota, agriculture is our economic development. We have to have an economic engine and an organization like Riverview is that. They bring economic development that is piece by piece little by little.
Representatives with Riverview stressed they plan to buy, sell and resource labor locally.
“We would also prefer for custom app manure applicators, custom hay cutters, people who drive truck to haul our silage, people to haul our milk. We would prefer to work with locals to provide those services for us as well,” said Cassidy Watzke, Riverview representative.
While nothing is set in stone just yet, the group says they plan to continue moving the project forward.
Riverview’s next step will be to apply for a conditional use permit from the County as well as permits for the feed lots.