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County & State Feedlot Information

Animal Agriculture in Douglas County

Per most recent Douglas County Feedlot records, there remain 502 livestock farms in operation throughout the entire county.  This includes dairy, beef, swine, poultry, and all other livestock sites down to 10 animal units (as few as 7 large livestock animals).  93% of these farms are owned by either an individual or family.

old man farmer

The average age of the principal operator of these farm sites in Douglas County is 55 years.  There has been discontinuation of at least 86 livestock operations in Douglas County within the last decade.  All of these farm operations are considered “feedlots”.

The County definition for the term “feedlot” matches that of the state agencies.  In summary, a “feedlot” can be described as an area of land or a building where animals, mainly livestock, are confined over time with an accumulation of manure.  A pasture may or may not be included under this definition based on a variety of factors including number of animals, time of year, landscape, type and amount of vegetation, to name a few.   The majority of pastures do, at some point in the year, fall under the “feedlot” definition.

herd of cows

The MPCA requires that all feedlots over 50 animal units (10 animal units for feedlots in shoreland zones) register with their delegated county and update their registration every four years. The registration process is fairly simple; it requires that a producer provide information on the numbers and types of animals at his or her facility. In addition, feedlots are required to be inspected with their initial registration and periodically after that according to the delegated county’s work plan.

In addition to the MPCA rules, livestock operators must also follow rules as determined by the Douglas County Zoning Ordinance which can be more defined than MPCA rules. These rules are different for every zoning district. For more information on Douglas County’s livestock regulations click on Zoning For Animal Agriculture in the right side navigation bar.

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As part of the MPCA's Delegated County Program, Douglas County receives grants to maintain feedlot registrations and enforce the MN Chapter 7020 Rules.

For more information on the County Feedlot Program see Feedlot Program Overview, a publication by the MPCA.
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