From: Sam Streukens

Winona

 

Winona County is an agricultural community. This is an asset from St. Charles to Weaver to Nodine. For those of us who live in Winona, we support local farmers, and they support us. From sequestering carbon that mitigates climate change, having a reliable source of healthy food, and treating animals and the environment with dignity, we care for each other and our community.

For nearly a decade, Minnesota dairy farmers have been in a crisis that continued with the pandemic. Resilient rural communities and a just food and farming system rely on small to mid-sized livestock producers. Winona County Ordinance 8.4.2 states, “No permit shall be issued for a feedlot having in excess of 1,500 animal units per feedlot site.” When Daley Farm in Lewiston seeks a variance (exception) to allow over 5,900 animal units, they are superseding the public’s interest for their own.

Winona County does not want to lose more farms. Minnesota averages the loss of 300 dairies a year to large, mega-dairy operations, putting our water, our air, and our food system in the hands of corporations. When we prioritize local producers, we value our neighbors and the future of Winona County. Getting bigger is not the solution. Investing in the health of our community is the legacy that we must maintain for family farms and the next generation. 

The Board of Adjustments denied Daley Farms once, and it will do it again because of our county’s strong institutions and civic participation. Government officials represent the voices of community members, not a factory farm beholden to the market that suppresses dissent.