Dodge County is now the first Nebraska county to adopt the Livestock Assessment Matrix.
Bob Missel, who chairs the Dodge County Board of Supervisors, says the matrix will help county leaders evaluate livestock siting applications.
“It certainly looked like a wonderful tool, particularly for our planning commission when they’re looking at issues involving zoning to ag land, particularly livestock,” Missel says. “This is a tremendous tool that asks a lot of questions that need to be asked every time you go through this process.”
Missel says livestock development is already happening rapidly in Dodge County and having the matrix tool available should help make sure all sides of the issue are heard.
“Dodge County is a livestock-friendly county and we want to encourage livestock operations, we want to work with our farmers, our growers,” Missel says. “We’re on the verge of bringing in a whole new type of ag to our county. CostCo is going to be opening up a processing poultry plant.”
Missel says having the livestock assessment matrix at their disposal helps with public input on livestock siting issues.
“There always needs to be the public process,” Missel says. “This doesn’t take away from that by any means. It’s simply a tool to be used in the process. That was one concern. Somebody thought, ‘Well, this is a blank ticket. If they hit the numbers, then they’re done,’ and that’s just not the case.”
The Livestock Assessment Matrix is the result of legislation that directed the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to appoint a committee and create a matrix based on input from those panelists. The matrix evaluation guidelines are based on sound science, professional expertise and experience in livestock siting operations.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton