Hundreds Gather for Proposed Hog Farm Meeting in Fillmore County

June 19, 2018 10:47 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) held a meeting for a proposed hog farm in Newburg Township Tuesday night.

At least 400 people from all over Fillmore County squeezed into the Mabel Community Center, to learn more about the project and cast their comments.


Catalpa LLC has proposed the new hog farm and feedlot that would stand about 10 miles east of Harmony.

"It would consist of 4,980 sows, also some barn structures, an animal composting facility, a new well to water the animals and some other parts of the facility," Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Public Information Officer Cathy Rofshus said. 

"It could impact so many things in this community." Lanesboro resident Renee Bergstrom said.

A couple hundred residents held a rally before the meeting, saying it could cause pollution and other disturbances around Fillmore County.

"A large hog farm could endanger not only the wonderful trout streams we have nearby but also our drinking water,” Bergstrom said. “Also, it's the smell."

That’s one reason why many people are asking the MPCA to conduct an environmental impact study (EIS) on the proposed lot. However, the MPCA must compile other research and go through written public comments to decide whether or not an environmental impact study is needed.

"It evaluates the potential environmental effects of a proposed project as it relates to air, land, and water," an employee with the MPCA said during the meeting.

Brad Herman with Catalpa LLC said this feedlot would benefit the community by providing about 15-16 jobs. Herman also said Catalpa LLC is abiding by the MPCA’s guidelines and that he's never had any drinking water issues during his 22 years of managing hog farms.

"It’s just a total environmental disaster," property owner Steve Delaitsch said.

However, some people like Delaitsch are still not on board.

"Who poisons their neighbors’ streams, who poisons their air and diminishes their quality of life for a few extra dollars for themselves?" Delaitsch said. “It’s really very disturbing.”

Public comments must be submitted in writing by July 3. The MPCA says they need to respond to every comment and evaluate their research before moving forward. The decision on whether or not they'll conduct an Environmental Impact Study should happen in about 2 months.

You can send your comments to and


Elise Romas

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