There was one election this week that was like Milwaukee voting to ban breweries or Hersey, PA, putting the kibosh on chocolate makers. It was in Sioux Falls, SD, where an ordinance to prohibit permitting of new slaughterhouses was on Tuesday’s ballot.

It failed with voters rejecting the measure by 52 percent to 48 percent

Sioux Falls enjoyed prosperity once the railroads and meatpacking industries arrived shortly after South Dakota became a state. A John Morrell plant and nearby stockyards were one of the largest in the nation for much of the 20th Century.

Wholestone Farm’s plans for a small “custom slaughterhouse,” however have run into opposition from a neighborhood group that goes by the name “Smart Growth Sioux Falls.”

Wholestone Farms cut the ribbon on the project late last month, but not before the ballot measure was qualified for the ballot. Had voters adopted the ordinance, Wholestone Farms was prepared to argue that their project would be exempt as grandfathered.

Wholestone Farms Board Chairman Luke Minion thanked Sioux Falls voters and all those who’ve supported the company’s project during the process that’s now four years old.

The ordinance on the ballot faced organized opposition from “Sioux Falls Open For Busines.” It was chaired by Christine Erickson, executive director of the South Dakota Trucking Association and a former city council member. Erickson said she was proud of the citizens of Sioux Falls who “chose to keep Sioux Falls open for business.”

The pork processor plans a $500 million plant in northeastern Sioux Falls. It will start with one shift of 1,000 employees when it opens in 2025 after construction is completed. One shift will process about 3 million hogs per year. A second shift will likely be added at some point.

The project is located on industrial property, which is already the site of Wholestone Farms butcher shop processing 20 to 25 hogs per week.

Wholestone Farms and Smart Growth will likely continue to mix it up in the courts in action that was initiated in September.

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