Just a matter of when it will happen.
Estimated to cost around $40 million, the Richfield dairy’s development plans have been in limbo for roughly three years as the company faced court challenges preventing it from proceeding with construction. The facility would be home to 4,300 milking or dry cows and 250 steers, as well as two high-capacity wells with an annual maximum pumping rate of 52.5 million gallons.
Still, Milk Source is not exactly sure when construction on the new farm will begin. For now, the site where the CAFO would sit is bereft of any facility. The land does, however, continue to be farmed.
“It’s been growing crops since we purchased it in 2011,” Harke said.
During the three years the Richfield dairy has been tied up in the courts, the company saw opportunities for new facilities pop up in Hudson, Mich., and Medina, Mich. Milk Source is finishing work at these operations and will complete its work in Michigan before it starts working on its Richfield farm, Harke said.
“We got to finish up Michigan — we got to finish up (the project) in Medina, Mich.,” Harke said. “That’s the No. 1 priority.”
Although a start date for the dairy is unknown, the Richfield dairy’s details — including the farm’s designs and permits — are all set, Harke said.