Now if we can just close down John Morrell's we'd be set

The cattle operation of the SF stockyards is going to close down and the land is for sale. Let’s cross our fingers and hope JM’s moves to Sioux City so we can finally breathe the air once again in Sioux Falls;

The Sioux Falls Stockyards is being offered for sale by the financially embattled company that owns it and will end cattle sales by June 30 because it cannot comply with city restrictions on wastewater, according to stockyard manager Paul Scott.


Once the largest stockyard in the nation, the 92-year-old venture is falling victim to, among other things, tougher environmental standards and changing market forces that dictate how cattle are bought and sold.

Don’t get me wrong, it will have a short term effect on the Sioux Falls economy and housing market if John Morrell’s moves to, but in the long run we can finally cleanup that part of town and make our city a cleaner place to live. Sometimes GOOD change hurts a little.


#1 Costner on 05.28.09 at 6:29 am

Having a desire for JM to leave down isn’t a very popular opinion around town, but I happen to agree with you.

Not only would the stink be sent at least 90 minutes South, but there are numerous other benefits as well. For starters the slum lords of our city would lose about half of their renters (which suggests revitalization projects might be on the horizon), the number of phonebooth casino robberies would probably fall by half, and dare I say that the number of payday loan centers would also be reduced exponentially?

Remind me again why this is a bad thing for the city.

#2 l3wis on 05.28.09 at 6:36 am

Being the conspiracy theorist I am, I truly believe that developers, law enforcement and city leaders really want JM’s to leave, but they tell the public a different thing. All I ever hear from them is, “It would be bad” and “we will do our best not to let that happen” Yeah, right. I bet I could count on one hand how many conversations the city has had with Smithfields over the past 6 years on that topic.

I also think a majority of Sioux Falls residents would support it’s closure to. I have joked in the past that we should put it too a public vote and boot them out of town.

#3 Sy on 05.28.09 at 7:15 am


“Remind me again why this is a bad thing for the city.”

Be happy to, for starters Morrell’s annual payroll is approx. $100 million =/-. Take that number x 2.5 and you get the secondary Economic impact. Those 3K jobs would also instantly push our unemployment rate from 5% to 9%. Those are still some of the highest paid jobs we currently have. If you think we can simply shake that off without all the negative side effects that every other rust belt town has endured than you, my friend, are as ignorant as they come. Don’t believe me? Plan your summer road trip to Muskegon, MI or Sandusky, OH and take a look around. Believe me, they’ll be happy to see you.

I’m noticing a pattern here, you guys want Sanford Health to go tit’s up, you want First Premier and all the CC companies to die, hell some of you think I’m scum simply because I run a family business. Your class warfare bile must make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but where that’s been applied throughout history you see nothing but failure.

So you tell me what morally pure income stream is acceptable for your utopian panacea. Take a peek in your wallet, is there a dollar or two in there that should’ve instead went to pay someone’s rent or put some food on a table? Or don’t you give a shit, you got yours so fuck it? Guess what, you’re the same as TD Sanford, you just need to move the decimal point.

#4 Angry Guy on 05.28.09 at 7:53 am

Jeez Sy, just when you start sounding like a normal loyal huskers fan, you go and make me think you are a complete douche again. Your “5% to 9%” figure is flawed. Show your math please? What percentage of those 3000 employees would simply move to where the work is?

#5 l3wis on 05.28.09 at 7:57 am

C’mon Sy. I don’t want Sanford or First Premier to go belly up – I want them to use fair business practices. Is that class warfare to ask for healthcare to be reasonably priced or that a CC company charge a fair interest rate? Or are you OKAY with them fucking people over. I would think that a small business owner like yourself would be a little concerned about the skyrocketing cost of healthcare AND credit.

As for John Morrell’s, I agree with you, it would affect the economy in SF, but only for a short period. This would also give SF the opportunity to replace JM’s with high paying manufacturing green energy jobs or something else. Let me say it again, This would be a HUGE opportunity for SF. I think the SF job market needs to be more diverse, and let’s face it, John Morrell’s isn’t going to be around forever, we might as well pull the bandade off now.

Costner said it before, and I agree. Most of the people who work on the floor at JM’s are not from here, and when the place closes, they will move to the next packing plant they can get a job at. Will we be losing a valuable workforce? I don’t think so.

#6 Farmerboy24 on 05.28.09 at 8:08 am

Buying and selling cattle is still very successful in auction markets all over South Dakota. Our State is known throughout the Country for having the best quality, as evidenced by the price paid per pound.

I think the Stockyards died off because it is hard to get into SF with a stock trailer, and more of the cattle are raised north and west of the SF area.

There are many very successful auction markets throughout SD. Aberdeen has 2 of the highest indexing markets in the State. Fort Pierre is known as the epicenter of auction markets for cattle.

#7 l3wis on 05.28.09 at 8:37 am

“it is hard to get into SF with a stock trailer”

You said it right there. Like I said above, I think the city is just fine and dandy with this announcement.

#8 Costner on 05.28.09 at 9:20 am

Sy, Sy, Sy….you cannot possibly compare a lone meat packing plant to an auto industry that crosses dozens of suppliers and employes tens of thousands or workers.

Unlike auto-workers who are displaced due to falling demand and unlike a city which is soley based upon one industry, Sioux Falls, and the citizens, have options.

We all know meat packing plants employ a very mobile workforce, and the day after JM locked the doors you would soon find these very same workers heading down to Sioux City or over to Worthington or hitting the road to faraway destinations in search of the same type of job. They are mobile, but not all that loyal to their city. Good for them – because they have planned ahead and know another job might be around the corner.

Thus, Sioux Falls would surely see an economic impact, but I sincerely doubt it would last beyond 24 months and I’m sure there would be other companies popping up to offset the lost positions in no time.

Add to this the fact that our city could finally redeveop that area of town for other purposes that don’t pollute our air and water and you get what we call an added benefit. Just imagine our city’s namesake without the putrid smell of fried bacon grease for a change.

As far as your idiotic assumptions about the posters of this board I know of noone here who wants Sanford Health or any of the financial institutions to die. The complaints about Sanford surround some of their questionable decisions and thug-like behavior, but nobody wants to see them close the doors. It is merely a matter of disapproval on how they spend (waste) their resources or how they attempt to monopolize the industry or spend an excessive amount of their profits on marketing instead of medicine.

In truth the largest complaint about Sanford is their namesake, because predatory lending isn’t anything I’m going to condone or respect in my lifetime, and when someone donates their ill-gotten gains it doesn’t suddenly make everything all better like he might hope.

People can voice their complaints and they can disapprove or cite a gripe here or there, but it does not in any way suggest they wish all of these companies or industries would go belly up. Reform their ways perhaps, but close? Not a chance.

You’re sure full of assumptions Sy (along with being full of something else), but the problem is none of those assumptions are ever right.

#9 Warren Phear on 05.28.09 at 9:52 am

Those are still some of the highest paid jobs we currently have…

…you want First Premier and all the CC companies to die,


That first part is very sadly probably true Sy. Starting wages at Morrell’s is still south of $10.00 an hour, and if you’ve been there long enough you might reach the $13.00 an hour range. WOW. That does not say much for our “fair” city does it Sy.

And that second part? You want to apologize for fee harvesting and deceptive, predatory credit card operations, then by all means…be my guest.

#10 l3wis on 05.28.09 at 11:24 am

“Just imagine our city’s namesake without the putrid smell of fried bacon grease for a change. ”

I have often said it smells like a combination of wet cat and rabbit food.

#11 Ghost of Dude on 05.28.09 at 12:22 pm

I always thought it smelled like the sweat of an old, fat german guy combined with three-day old bacon grease.

#12 l3wis on 05.28.09 at 12:50 pm

Isn’t that the same smell?

#13 CountryGrown on 10.05.09 at 7:09 am

Really? You people are worse than children. Both JM and the Stockyards are a very important addition to SF. No it is not difficult to get a stock trailer into SF. Learn how to drive. The people that work at JM are not a slumbags. They are people just like you. You say they are the cause for people being robbed and such but guess what they aren’t. They are making a life for themselves working. Just because you people are low life and upset with the way you live doesn’t mean you have to try and take away their life. JM is a very important part of SF and so is the Stockyards. They are the reason for so much of the growth in SF. Look at Cliff Ave. Where did that come from? All of the business heading to Rice St. SO in conclusion if you want to bitch about this more get off your high horse and take a look in the mirror. Are you providing for your family or are you bein a stuckup snot nose child trying to get rid of other people’s lives? Grow up.

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