By Tim Kowols
The future of a large Door County farm will soon be in the hands of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Thursday marked the last day the DNR would accept comments on the renewal of a state pollutant discharge permit for Jerseyland Dairy, LLC., which has also listed the request to increase its herd size to over 10,000 animals by 2021. Organizations like the Door County Environmental Council and Door Property Owners have voiced their concerns over the request, citing what increased manure spreading over shallow soil cover and fractured bedrock could do to the area’s water supply. DCEC President Steve Eatough says that could be bad news for area bodies of water, including the expanding dead zones in the bay of Green Bay.
Jerseyland Dairy, LLC owner Randy Schmidt could not be reached for this story, but the farm’s Web site states that it works with the Door County Soil and Water Department and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to evaluate the fields they rent and own. A decision is expected in April.