MADISON — A livestock producer southwest of Madison who wants to expand his operations also wants to be a good neighbor.

Thomas Pfeifer was seeking Wednesday to expand his livestock feeding operation beyond the approximate 300 head of feeder cattle he has now. According to the county’s zoning classification system, to expand he needs the next classification to operate a medium livestock feeding operation — which is up to 999 head of feeder cattle — but he doesn’t intend to get nearly that big.

Pfeifer passed the county matrix for the property that is zoned A-1, the most intensive of the county’s agricultural land uses. The property is at 55121 826th Road and includes about 40 acres.

Pfeifer said he has lived on the property since 1996 and has been raising cattle there since 2010, starting with two head. It is hard to acquire land now, so the next best option for him to expand would be to increase the number of cattle he feeds, he said.

Pfeifer said he would expand with portable panels or gates. That way if something happens that his neighbor is upset, he can get out of cattle feeding.

“I’m not going to pour a lot of concrete or set a lot of posts,” he said. “Maybe later on, I still have a daughter that may come back, but the 999 (head) is just because that was the next level.”

Pfeifer estimated that he would have up to about 550 cattle. He said most of the water flows to the north through a tree line of his. He also is working with the DEQ and following its recommendations, he said.

When a public hearing was held before the joint planning commission last month, one neighbor said he would be concerned if manure runs off from the yards onto his property. The neighbor, who owns property to the east, said he also doesn’t want to have wet spots in his field as he has tiled his property to avoid that. That neighbor did not testify on Wednesday.

One person who did testify on Wednesday was Jeff Hackerott, who lives about a half-mile straight south “as the crow flies.”

Hackerott said he was neither in favor nor against the permit. Hackerott said his only concern was that the county may have to step up the frequency of maintenance on 826th Road near the property.

“I’m not complaining about the condition of the road,” Hackerott said. “I’m just saying that going forward, it may take more of a beating.”

Commissioners took note and voted 3-0 to approve the request.


The Madison County Board of Commissioners met Wednesday.

Members present: Chairman Troy Uhlir, Ron Schmidt and Eric Stinson.

Others in attendance: Anne Pruss, county clerk; Heather McWhorter, zoning administrator; Joe Smith, county attorney; five from the public and three reporters.

Meeting lasted: One hour, 15 minutes, including time as a board of equalization.

ACTION ITEMS

— Recited the Pledge of Allegiance and had a moment of silence. Noted the open meetings law is posted and followed.

— Met as a board of equalization and approved a list of tax exemptions and corrections.

— Set the time at 2 p.m. for Monday, Nov. 22, for the commissioners’ meeting and 2 p.m. for the Monday, Dec. 20, commissioners’ meeting.

— Authorized the board chairman to execute the certification statement for the Cost Allocation Plan based on actual costs for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020.

— Approved revisions to First Concord Administrative Agreement for HRA health insurance deductible buy-down services from “Make payment directly to service provider as necessary” to “Make payment directly to plan members as necessary.”

— Approved a special designated license for District TT Hospitality for a fall event scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 30-31, at Poppy’s Pumpkin Patch, 55275 837th Road, south of Norfolk.

— Conducted a public hearing and approved the conditional-use permit application of Michael and Sara Dewey for a home on less than 40 acres on property located at intersection of 549th Avenue and 845th Road. The Deweys purchased the property from previous owners who had a conditional-use permit to build the house, but the permit expired.

— Reviewed written reports and processed claims.

— By JERRY GUENTHER

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