Rice farm eh' the only thing I know about rice farming is stay out of the paddies because that's if was impossible to locate a landmine until it was too late. Seen a couple of guys not return from stepping off in a paddy DO know about milk barns though, or rather the processing room. I was darn near blinded blinded when I was a teenager helping a welder rework some of the stainless plumbing in the processing room of one.
Wife says that may be why I don't eat rice or drink milk
the 2ft above grade is an arbitrary figure the location is on a flat area kind of on a hill flooding is very unlikely unless we were to get a 100" rain fall, I just like to have the area sloping away from a building rather than being completely flat around it
Permits? We don't need no stinking permits. They call this the Free State of Stonewall county, however I have always had a tendency to build things just a little over the top anyway