LEWISTON, Minn. — On Jan. 3, Daley Farm of Lewiston, L.L.P, filed an appeal in Minnesota District Court challenging the Winona County Board of Adjustment’s decision in December denying the operation’s proposed expansion. This expansion would exceed the county’s animal unit cap by almost four times the current limit. Over the years, Daley Farm has repeatedly shown it has little respect for common-sense, local government rules that protect the environmental and economic health of the community. This latest appeal is yet another waste of public resources at a time when we should be focusing on investing in a type of farming that benefits the wider community, and not just one mega-sized dairy facility.
Daley Farm’s relentless drive to force this “get big or get out” model of agriculture upon the people and the land in Winona County is a microcosm of the overall fight over the future of rural communities throughout Minnesota and the Midwest. As with the frac sand mining issue, Winona County is serving as a bellwether for the future of our rural communities. Big Ag knows that, and that’s why it is backing Daley Farm in its seemingly futile and bitter fight.
For four decades, the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) has been a leader in Winona County on farmer-to-farmer education, developing the next generation of beginning farmers, increasing soil health and supporting regional food systems. LSP’s grassroots organizing, alongside thousands of members, for proactive local, state and federal policies, puts this organization in a unique position to help Winona County residents create the kind of future they want, one that is resilient and sustainable.
The Land Stewardship Project will continue to stand with the rural residents of Winona County as they voice their opposition to this harmful expansion. And as we have throughout our 40-year history, we will continue to work for a regenerative, family-farm type of agriculture that benefits people, local economies, the land, and the water.