By Tim Kowols
Community members in Kewaunee County weighed in on the pollutant discharge permits of five large farms during a Department of Natural Resources public hearing in Luxemburg on Tuesday. Dairy Dreams, Seidl’s Mountain View Dairy, Sandway Farms, Kinnard Farms, and Wakker Dairy are required to have their permits renewed every five years as confined animal feeding operations (CAFO), with the latter two forecasting possible expansions. Farmers gathered at Kinnard Farms in Casco to show their support for one another before the hearing and their commitment to improve agricultural practices while addressing the area’s water concerns. Lee Kinnard says he is proud of the work his fellow members of organizations like Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms Network are doing.
Nancy Utesch of Kewaunee CARES attended the hearing to join the majority of those speaking in opposition to the permit renewal, citing the well contamination already present in the county. While she is disappointed in the likelihood that the permits will be granted by the DNR, Utesch is happy the department is seeing a full parking lot with different people voicing their concerns when they do come.
Those who could not attend the hearing or would like to add their thoughts to the discussion can leave their comments with the DNR through December 5.