Mitchell City Council backs ordinance allowing indoor crop production, paving way for horse feed production

Nov. 15—MITCHELL — The Mitchell City Council paved the way Monday for a South Dakota horse feed company to begin transforming a Mitchell building into a production facility.

DGI Feeds has had its sights set on leasing a large vacant building to grow barley grass used to make horse feed products, but the plan hinged on whether the council would approve amending the ordinance to allow indoor crop production in certain zoning districts. The council moved swiftly on Monday to adopt the amended ordinance that permits indoor crop production in certain zoning districts.

DGI Feeds grows indoor crops and nutrient-rich grasses through a hydroponic method, which is done indoors. The Renner-based company has been growing rapidly and sells its horse feed products nationwide.

The building DGI Feeds is seeking to transform into a production site is located at 1117 S. Langdon St. It offers more than 17,000 square feet and is situated in the central portion of Mitchell near neighboring businesses.

Craig Livingston, an official with DGI Feeds, previously spoke to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission about the company's plans for the Mitchell building. He explained the facility would be utilized for producing crops and packaging the horse feed products to distribute them.

Livingston touted the hydroponic growing method of the barley grass as a cutting-edge system that produces the "high-end" horse feed.

Livingston said the company is leasing the building from the local bank that owns the property.

With the council's approval of the ordinance, it classifies indoor crop growing as a permitted use in highway business districts and transportation and warehousing-specific districts. A conditional use permit would be required to operate in central business districts, according to the ordinance.