Use permit for Aurora Dairy gets approval

    Like it or not, Chase County will be home to a new organic dairy northwest of Imperial.
    Following a public hearing on a conditional use permit (CUP) for Aurora Dairy Tuesday, Chase County commissioners Dave Hogsett, Chuck Vette and Donnie Weiss voted unanimously to approve issuance of the permit.
    With the CUP in hand, Aurora Dairy can proceed with plans to  build a two-barn facility, each holding 1,440 head of dairy cows. The facility will also hold up to 620 head of dry cows, heifers and calves.
    The approved permit is a Class II CUP which allows for up to 5,000 animal units, provided a one-mile setback from all neighboring homes is met.
    The facility will be located on the west half of Section 11, Township 7 North, Range 39 West.
    While some support was expressed for granting the CUP, a number of the 40 people present addressed the commissioners with concerns.
    Those concerns included odor, dust, traffic, the location of the facility itself and support of the community and its businesses.
    Representatives with Aurora Dairy were present and responded to a number of the concerns.
    Their veterinarian, Juan Valdez, said he believes many of those concerns will not be as bad as people may suspect. He said they want the opportunity to come and prove themselves to the neighbors and the community.
    Valdez said they will be looking to buy as much organic corn and hay from the area as possible.
    That supply is not significant now because a limited number of local area acres have been certified as organically approved. It takes three years to convert from conventional operations to organic operations.     

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