LINCOLN – Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach, in consultation with an appointed committee, has approved a matrix designed to assist local officials in evaluating livestock siting applications.
The development of the assessment matrix is a result of LB 106 which was passed by the Nebraska Legislature and signed by the Governor in 2015. Under the bill, NDA was directed to create the assessment matrix based on input from a committee appointed by the NDA director. The committee is comprised of representatives from several entities involved in zoning and livestock development, including producers and county officials.
“The evaluation guidelines in the matrix are based on sound science, professional expertise and personal experiences from people who have a lot of knowledge about this process,” said Director Ibach. “Livestock development is critical to the state’s agricultural industry. It adds value to the millions of bushels of feed grains we produce annually. I urge counties to consider utilizing the matrix as another tool to aid in the locally-controlled siting process.”
The initial draft of the matrix was posted on NDA’s website for public comments. The Department worked with the committee to make final adjustments to the matrix to reflect suggestions offered during the comment period. Members of the committee are John Csukker, Shelby; Elizabeth (Liz) Doerr, Creighton; Leon Kolbet, Hayes Center; Dean Krueger, Hebron; Mark McHargue, Central City; Jennifer (Jen) Myers, Palmer; Sarah Pillen, Columbus; Andrew (Andy) Scholting, Wisner; Steve Sill, Wisner; and Richard (Rick) Stowell, Ph.D., P.E., Lincoln.
“I want to thank members of the committee who put a lot of hours in this project to provide a tool that will ensure livestock facilities are properly sited,” said Ibach.
The approved matrix can be accessed at nda.nebraska.gov. Usage of the matrix is voluntary.