Citizens Cheer Progress Against New Slaughterhouses In City

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – Leaders of an upcoming ballot measure to protect Sioux Falls from new slaughterhouses today cheered news that widespread support for the initiative may have already halted plans for other meat-packing plants in the city.

During an August 30 interview with KELO-AM, Governor Kristi Noem said, “I’ve already had other projects move out of the state—say they’re not coming because of the Wholestone issue.” The South Dakota Governor went on to say that at least one company has already decided they “don’t want a battle like that” in order to build another processing plant.

Shortly after the interview, Smart Growth Sioux Falls filed a public records request with the governor’s office for communications that could reveal which slaughterhouse operators may be working behind the scenes to locate more industrial meat-packing facilities next to Sioux Falls neighborhoods. 

“We’re very encouraged that our petition, signed by more than 10,000 voters, is already telling slaughterhouse operators to consider locations outside the city limits,” said Robert Peterson, a Sioux Falls native and Treasurer for Smart Growth Sioux Falls. 

During her interview, Governor Noem seemed confused about the exact location of Wholestone Farms’ proposed slaughterhouse, saying at one point the new facility would be “outside of town.” The controversial site for the project is, in fact, located within the city limits of Sioux Falls. However, the Governor did accurately state that the fate of new slaughterhouses in the city is “a decision Sioux Falls will make.” Noem stated, “If this is on the ballot, people will vote on it, and they’ll decide what the future looks like.”

“Governor Noem’s comments reinforce why it’s so important for local residents to have the final say on whether Sioux Falls is a place to call home or a place to slaughter livestock,” Peterson continued. “Voters know that more slaughterhouses will only discourage future investment, increase odor and truck traffic, and compound the city’s water supply and wastewater challenges.”

Smart Growth Sioux Falls is the official municipal ballot question committee for the promotion of forward-thinking, sustainable development within Sioux Falls city limits. With more than 10,000 signatures, the group’s petition drive was an unqualified success, ensuring voters will have an opportunity on their ballot this November to reject slaughterhouses that threaten to negatively impact our city’s odors, housing, water quality, traffic, and property values. Those efforts are backed by a wide array of Sioux Falls businesses and organizations, as well as 78 percent of voters who agree that any new slaughterhouse should be located outside of city limits.