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POET donates $1M to fight pork processing plant

Wholestone Farms wants to build a $500M processing facility in Sioux Falls

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Barbar Barbosa | PEXELS
Barbar Barbosa | PEXELS

POET has donated more than $1 million in support of a ballot question that would ban new slaughterhouses within Sioux Falls, South Dakota, city limits if voters approve it, according to campaign finance disclosure reports released November 3.

At issue is Wholestone Farms' proposal to build a $500 million pork processing plant in northeastern Sioux Falls.

According to the Argus Leader, POET donated $1,080,950 to Smart Growth Sioux Falls. Another $10,000 of the reported donations came from Robert Casper, POET's chief commercial officer.

Proponents say slaughterhouses’ impact on the city will be negative and want to see them operate outside of the city limits.

Opponents say the ban would harm the agriculture industry and other industries in the area and prevent businesses from coming to Sioux Falls.

KELO reports POET CEO Jeff Broin owns a home in a gated house development less than two miles from the site where Wholestone Farms has built a butcher shop and plans to expand to a facility to harvest 3 million hogs annually.

"We cannot in good conscience stand by and watch as new slaughterhouses jeopardize the quality of life for our team members, our families, and our more than 200,000 neighbors who live and work in this community," POET responded in an email response to both local newspapers.

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