Siting For Livestock Building Expansion

As the demand for meat increases, you may be considering an expansion in your livestock operation that includes construction of a new building.

Amy Millmier Schmidt is a livestock bioenvironmental engineer at the University of Nebraska. She says finding the right spot on your land is important, but there are key “emotional” questions that must be answered before any dirt is turned over.

"What are your plans for protecting your neighbors, what are your plans for protecting water quality? How will you stay involved in the community, give back to the community? What’s your reason for wanting to expand? A lot of times we see that being so they can bring another generation back to the farm," she says. "It’s not typically someone from outside of that community that’s coming in and buying land, and putting up a production system."

The site you choose is limited by the land you have access to, but she says to identify all potential risks and go through as many scenarios as you can. One of the first assessments is to see where neighboring property owners are in relation to your site.

"Figure out where’s a good place to locate this so that I’m impacting neighbors as little as possible with odors. The other thing we like to tell people is kind of out-of-sight out-of-mind," she says. "If you can find a location where you’re not as visible from the road, if you have a natural tree line that you can be behind so that it shields the view of your property."

The University of Nebraska has a detailed website called Ag-Site-Planner where you can find the resources to help you plan and answer these types of questions.