S&R Egg Farm is planning to build a new egg farm in La Prairie, Wisconsin.

The farm will have the capacity for about 3 million hens, according to a report from WKOW.

The La Prairie Town Council recently approved a conditional use permit for the facility, following a public hearing on the matter in October.

Allan Arndt, chairman of the town council, said he had toured another, and larger, S&R facility in Whitewater, Wisconsin, where the company is also headquartered. He told the council that he was impressed at the cleanliness of the facility and lack of odor outside of the barns.

While Arndt said he was sympathetic to the neighbors who were leery of living next to a 3 million hen complex, he said the economic benefits would outweigh the negative aspects of a new egg farm.

“This is an agricultural community, and if you have a residence next to ag land, you should probably figure that someday you’re going to have an ag neighbor that’s different than the one you have today,” he said. “This has the economic impact of 500 $200,000 homes in the Town of La Prairie. I think most of us would rather have three million chickens than 500 homes.”

The feed for the hens is expected to be produced and purchased locally.

The company could break ground on the new facility as early as the spring of 2020.

S&R Egg Farm, according to the WATTAgNet Top Companies Database, had 4.35 hens in its flock at the end of 2018. Presently, it ranks as the 22nd largest egg producer in the United States.

S&R Egg Farm had one barn at a laying operation destroyed by a fire in January 2014. However, none of the other 14 barns on the farm were harmed and no injuries resulted.