Appeals Court Overturns Key Ruling on Golden Sands Dairy

Via Wisconsin Ag Connection:

Opponents of a large dairy operation being constructed in Wood County scored a legal victory on Thursday. In a ruling issued by the Wisconsin District IV Court of Appeals, the proposed Golden Sands Dairy would not be able to use more than 6,000 acres of nearby land for manure spreading or other agricultural purposes because of a local ordinance instituted by the town of Saratoga. That’s despite the fact that the new rules were implemented after the farm originally applied for its building permits.

Attorneys say the decision essentially overturns an earlier ruling by the Wood County Circuit Court that allows the dairy to use more than its original 100 acres that its buildings would sit on for planting crops and disposing animal waste.

The court verdict is just the latest in a string of attempts by locals to kill the proposed farm. Last fall, supervisors in the town passed the ordinance that would enforce new regulations on manure spreading in order to protect groundwater contamination; and also approved a separate policy that would regulating the storage of solid manure.

Neighboring residents are mainly concerned about the amount of manure the farm would generate. That’s because the dairy would house 5,300 animals and generate 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25,000 tons of solid manure each year.

The Golden Sands Dairy is being built by the Wysocki Family of Companies, which first unveiled plans for the dairy about five years ago. The dispute between locals and the farm led to a lawsuit in 2012, which the Wysockis won in court. However, neighbors then filed an appeal, claiming the farm should not have been granted the necessary building and operating permits.

The Wysocki Family also owns the Central Sands Dairy in Adams County and an 8,400-acre potato and vegetable operation in Portage County.

They will likely petition the State Supreme Court to hear the case.

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