Full Circle Dairy requesting 7,000 head dairy

Dawn Rye | Writer
During last week’s Turner County commissioners meeting, A1 Development Solutions updated the board on Full Circle Dairy.
Owner Paul Kostboth said Full Circle Dairy was looking to expand now that construction can finally proceed. He explained that unforeseen circumstances happened two years later, allowing Full Circle Dairy to continue their 2018 permit. Kostboth noted he sent out an email back in April to update the planning and zoning board to prepare for this fall. He said things continued to evolve and Full Circle Dairy owner Greg Van Ravenswaay realized that he wanted to expand the building size when efficiency changed. Kostboth noted Van Ravenswaay wanted to be transparent from 5,000 head dairy to a 7,000 head dairy. He said the building still meets all the setbacks. Kostboth explained when the new tax rebate program became available, Full Circle Dairy didn’t qualify for the program. He said by asking for the expansion, this would be considered a new conditional use permit. He noted in his mind with the new permit, it would qualify for the GOED program. Kostboth commented the next step would be to go to the Economic Board and Economic Development to approve it.
He explained the expansion would provide an estimated $850,000 in taxes that would come back to the county.
Board member Mick Miller asked would this be an amendment to the original plan?
Kostboth said that is correct. He noted it still requires a new permit hearing.
Miller questioned is the old conditional use permit expired?
Kostboth explained the original conditional use permit had been maintained.
“I believe my understanding from Faye is it would still be the same permit. It is just going to be amended,” commented Kostboth.
Miller said his concern was with the GOED money and according to State Attorney Katelynn Hoffman, it would be amended from the original.
Kostboth explained that GOED understands this is a new hearing and if it is not approved, then there would not be a project.
Miller asked would the project go back to the 5,000 head dairy?
Kostboth noted the GOED money is tied to the 7,000 head dairy and how the money is justified to go through a vote.
He said in the original site plan, the barn is more extended and the lagoons shift south.
Commissioner Tony Ciampa asked if Van Ravenswaay made contact with the new residents straight to the east?
Van Ravenswaay said he had not met those residents in person.
Kostboth noted it would be another $5 million of an investment to build the project to this particular size. He said with efficiency and technology, the footprint supports the 7,000 head dairy.
Kostboth explained in 2018, the 5,000 head dairy was the model and currently, technology suggests a 7,000 head dairy would fit. He said the design would allow Full Circle Dairy to be more efficient in volume.
He noted A1 Solutions and Van Ravenswaay have been looking into the digester to capture the gas and convert it over to natural gas. Ciampa asked if the permit was approved, what is the turn around time to open the door?
Van Ravenswaay said if things go well this fall, he plans to have something up and running in the spring. He noted he is still going to bids, however, it just depends on the weather.
Kostboth explained with the $10 to $15 million in investment, hopefully the digester works. He noted nothing else will change and that’s why this is an amended conditional use permit.
Ciampa asked once the digester is in place and starts selling the gas is Full Circle Dairy paid for that or is it just a way to get rid of it?
Van Ravenswaay said that depends on the deal because it’s private money that supports the digesters.
After the meeting Kostboth said Dr. Gary Taylor from SDSU has estimated that the impact of the dairy industry in SD on a per cow basis is just over $26,000/cow. He explained that means this new dairy at the 7,000 head number will generate more than $182 million in annual economic impact.

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