Two weeks after the plans leaked, the village board unanimously voted against the plant and the company said it would seek another location, reports AP. Proponents of the plant, such as farmer Willow Holliback, said "the Nickerson plant would have helped area farmers, who mostly grow corn and soybeans, start up poultry operations and buy locally grown grain for feed."
While opposition leaders say the issue is not about race or religion, at a public meeting last month many locals expressed concern about illegal immigrants and minorities flooding the town, reports AP. "John Wiegert, from nearby Fremont, where two meat processors employ many immigrants, questioned whether Nickerson's plant would attract legal immigrants from Somalia—more than 1,000 of whom have moved to other Nebraska cities for similar jobs, along with people from Mexico, Central America and Southeast Asia." He said, "Being a Christian, I don't want Somalis in here. They're of Muslim descent. I'm worried about the type of people this is going to attract." Another speaker said they were concerned about the number of minorities working at other processing plants.