May 12 2023 10:18 AM

Ordinance change provides flexibility for future Fillmore County farms

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard's Dairyman.

Minnesota Milk, the state’s leading dairy advocacy group, celebrates the passage of an amendment to the Fillmore County Feedlot Ordinance, which increases the animal unit cap for new and existing farms in the county. The County Planning Commission reviewed, discussed and passed the amendment before sending it to the County Board of Commissioners for review, discussion and a vote this week. The Commissioners passed the amendment by a vote of 5-0.

The amended ordinance increases the permissible number of animal units from 2,000 to 4,000 for new and existing farms and feedlot facilities within the county.

Farmers face rising costs such as fertilizer, labor, land, building materials and other inputs. As costs increase or the next generation enters the business, farmers must continue to find efficiencies in their business model to remain financially sustainable.

“As dairy farms continue to adopt new science-based best practices and technologies, we continue to find ways to lead in conservation,” said Michael Johnson, a dairy farmer from Fillmore County. “At the same time, we continue to find efficiencies on our farms while addressing new or expanded regulatory requirements. Farms must have the ability to evolve, and one way to evolve is through growth. By increasing the animal unit cap in Fillmore County, we will give farms an additional tool to be sustainable.”

Environmental policies and regulations in Minnesota are some of the most stringent in the country. They protect sensitive environmental areas, water resources and residents. Rules are backed by scientific data regarding a variety of criteria and still apply to new, existing and growing farms.


Minnesota Milk Producers Association is a membership organization representing grassroots dairy farmers through policy work, education and membership development. Our work is vital to the future of Minnesota’s dairy industry and is directed by a board of dairy farmers elected by their peers. For more information, visit