SIOUX FALLS, SD. — An ordinance to prohibit the construction or permitting of new slaughterhouses within Sioux Falls, SD, appears to have failed.

According to results on the South Dakota Secretary of State website, the city of Sioux Falls rejected the measure 52%-48%, with 55,690 total people voting.

In 2021, pork processor Wholestone Farms announced plans to build a new slaughtering and processing facility in city limits. The project value was approximately $500 million.

The company previously stated that the plant would begin with a shift of 1,000 employees after construction wrapped up in 2025 with the addition of a second shift in the future.

On Oct. 20, Wholestone Farms announced it completed a butcher shop on the land of the planned pork processing facility. The company announced during a ribbon-cutting ceremony a few days later that it expected to process between 20 to 25 hogs per week. Wholestone hopes to expand production capacity in Sioux Falls with the anticipated $500 million pork plant.

In the last year, Smart Growth Sioux Falls continued to fight against the planned facility, which included a civil complaint filed in September.  

Before the election on Nov. 3, POET, a biofuel company in Sioux Falls, gave a $1,080,950 donation to the Smart Growth campaign, according to campaign finance disclosures available on the city website. POET’s headquarters is roughly a mile away from the proposed Wholestone site.

Wholestone Farms, founded in 2018, is owned by 200 independent family farmers raising livestock and crops in the upper Midwest. The members of Wholestone manage 400,000 acres of cropland and 12 million pigs annually.

Smithfield Foods’ pork processing plant is also located in Sioux Falls and employs 3,700 people in the community.