Kansas: Greeley County hog farm expansion approved by KDHE

Mar 13, 2014

The Ladder Creek farm site in Greeley County is the largest hog-growing facility in Kansas. The operation is located 12 miles north of Tribune on Highway 27 and east on 12 Mile Road. With its expansion permit approved it can legally have up to 365,000 pigs.
The Ladder Creek farm site in Greeley County is the largest hog-growing facility in Kansas. The operation is located 12 miles north of Tribune on Highway 27 and east on 12 Mile Road. With its expansion permit approved it can legally have up to 365,000 pigs.
Credit Phil Cauthon / Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment approved the expansion of Seaboard Farms’ Ladder Creek hog farm according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

The addition makes the operation the second largest of its kind in the country.

The expansion is not without opposition.  Kansas environmental activists say the shouldn’t have approved the expansion permit.  They cite the amount of water required for proper waste disposal and residential spacing concerns. 

The Sierra Club is also against the project.  They filed a complaint with the KDHE’s Bureau of Water pointing to concerns about the amount of water need for the farm’s waste lagoons and the odor they produce. 

A recent Kansas Geological Survey report said the Ogallala Aquifer at the farm’s location was “effectively exhausted.”  This spurred further concern.

“KDHE has issued a permit to Ladder Creek for an expansion of its facility in accordance with federal and state regulations,” KDHE wrote in a statement to the KHI News Service. “The permit issued by KDHE is for the purpose of protecting the state’s water quality, while the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources, is responsible for water appropriations.”

KDHE Secretary Dr. Bob Moser is a former resident of Greeley County, where he once directed Greeley County Health Services.

Links to the permit as well as the rest of the story from the Kansas Health Institute can be found here.