Dodge County is the first county in Nebraska to adopt the Livestock Assessment Matrix, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). The matrix is a valuable tool to assist local officials in evaluating livestock siting applications.

“Livestock development is critical to Nebraska’s agricultural industry because it adds value to the millions of bushels of feed grains we produce,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach. “I’d like to congratulate Dodge County on adopting the matrix and incorporating it into their local decision making process.

The Livestock Assessment Matrix is the result of legislation that directed NDA to appoint a committee and create a matrix based on input from those committee members. The committee represented several entities involved in zoning and livestock development, livestock producers and county officials. Committee members based the matrix evaluation guidelines on sound science, professional expertise and personal experiences in siting livestock operations, said Ibach.

The Dodge County Board voted unanimously to adopt the Livestock Assessment Matrix. Bob Missel, chair of the Dodge County Board of Supervisors, said it made sense for Dodge County to adopt the matrix because it provides another decision-making tool for siting livestock operations.

“The more tools and scientific information you have access to, the easier it is to make a sound decision,” said Missel.

Dodge County Zoning Administrator Jean Andrews said the matrix will be part of the livestock siting application process. Applicants will be asked to complete the matrix and score their projects based on the evaluation guidelines. The county will still use their existing process of review and recommendation by the zoning committee as well as a review and public hearing before the Board of Supervisors.

The matrix can be accessed at nda.nebraska.gov. For more information, contact NDA at (402) 471-4876.