Opponents Fear Problems From Chicken Facility Near Parker

Opponents of a large egg-laying operation planned near Parker say the proposed facility would be too close to town.

Sioux Falls-based Sonstegard Foods hopes to put 6 million birds on a farm in Turner County, 2½ miles from Parker. Opponents turned out at a public hearing Monday night to voice their concerns about potential problems such as odor.

Opponents said they aren’t anti-agriculture, but they think the chicken facility needs to be in a different location. Opponent Katie Overvaag said about 1,200 people live within a 3-mile radius of the proposed site.

Sonstegard officials said they’re designing a facility to minimize odor.

Parker Mayor Ron Nelson said the city has not taken an official position on the proposal. But he also said the promise of 155 new jobs is enticing.