There is forward movement by the owners of Richfield Dairy, which plans to operate a 4,300 cow farm near Coloma. The DNR gave approval to the plans for the mega-farm this fall. While ground-breaking has not been scheduled, the plans are to have the farm operational in about one year.
But there are still those who think a lawsuit might bring a different outcome for the ones opposed to this farm. While I applaud the use of an attorney to make sure things are properly done according to a legal process, I am not convinced the use of monies by the farm’s opponents is a good decision given the laws that already exist in Wisconsin.
In the most recent lawsuit the dairy opponents say the approvals do little to protect property owners from damage the dairy could do to the environment, especially the lowering of water levels in lakes and streams.
Typically, permits such as the ones granted to Kaukauna-based Milk Source, Inc., which operates a number of large-scale dairies in the state and which will operate Richfield Dairy, do not limit the number of animal units. This is a major concern to the opponents, said Bob Clarke, one of the lawsuit filers.
However, Mary Anne Lowndes, section chief for runoff management of the DNR, said her agency does have control over the number of cows. The plans for Richfield Dairy are for a facility housing 4,300 animals.
“There are only so many cows they can put in a barn. If they want more cows they’ll need more barns and approvals for expansion would be needed,” she said.
I can not see a different outcome, other than what the DNR has already allowed for, by the actions of this lawsuit. In the end the lawsuit filed by Friends of Central Sands last week does not affect the timetable for construction of the Richfield Dairy.