Proposed Blackshirt Feeders Feedlot Includes 85 New Jobs
The coffee shop talk about a new, large feedlot in Dundy County has gone on for several years. That talk was made reality with the Dundy County Planning Commission’s Public Hearing last Tuesday and subsequent recommendation that the County Commissoners approve Blackshirt Feeders’ Conditional Use Permit application.
Here is a little more information about the proposed operation: One of the three primary owners is Dr. Eric Behlke. He is a 1997 graduate of Dundy County High School. Ph.D. in Animal Science with emphasis in ruminant nutrition – University of Nebraska; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M) – Iowa State University.
The following information is from Settje Agri-Service and Engineering, Inc., the company hired by Blackshirt Feeders to design and build the proposed 100,000 head feedlot. At full capacity, which is expected to take several years to reach once construction starts, would have 85 employees at an average salary of $44,000 and an average benefit package of $21,000 a year. The feedlot would be located over three miles west of Highway 61 just south of the county line. The feedlot would be located in Dundy County, but in the Chase County School and Fire District. The feed lot would be built in several phases. By 2023 – 30,000 head, 2024 – 50,000 head, 2025 – 79,000 head, 2026 – 90,000 head, and 2027 – 100,000 head. A longer period of steady growth with Dundy, Hitchcock, and Chase ounties benefiting from the facility. The construction is estimated to cost $65,000,000 with Blackshirt Feeders placing a high priority to use local businesses and suppliers to build the feedlot. The total direct economic impact to the three county area is projected at $16,000,000 a year.
This project led by Dr. Behlke will be a great addition to the economy of the tri-county area, and quite possibly the tri-state area. It will bring much needed jobs to the community which will in turn help retain some of the shrinking population. I trust Dr. Behlke and associates have done their homework regarding environmental impact. As a former resident with deep roots in the community, I feel this project should be approved.
With the economy how it is, and the lack of moisture and resources. This doesn’t seem like a good idea right now.