How big should livestock operations in the state be ? That question was raised in a Vernon County dispute over health and environmental issues.

It was neighbor against neighbor in a battle over a proposed 24-hundred head pig farm. There were complaints that it would cause environmental and health problems and start a trend of more mega-farms.

Supporters said there is no evidence of a health threat based on  conditions on at least thirty other farms in the state.

Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen says the state doesn't set limits on the number of head in an operation but has rules and guidelines on how to run those operations. Something they worked on for thirty months.

Until now, Nilsestuen says, regulations were all over the place varying from town to town making it confusing and controversial for everyone.

The Vernon County board decided against a moratorium on how large livestock operations could be and decided to come up with a county operation ordinance based on the state guidelines.

AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( :58 MP3 )

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