DNR approves Rosendale Dairy permit
By Marg Land
March 3, 2009, Rosendale, Wisc. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources has approved a wastewater discharge permit for Rosendale
Dairy, allowing the 2,500 acre Fond du Lac County operation to add up
to 3,300 cows to its current herd of about 700.
March 3, 2009, Rosendale, Wisc. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has approved a wastewater discharge permit for Rosendale Dairy , allowing the 2,500 acre Fond du Lac County operation to add up to 3,300 cows to its current herd of about 700.
This marks the first time a commercial dairy business has completed the environmental impact statement process in Wisconsin.
As a result of the permit, the partners in Rosendale Dairy will immediately begin implementing plans to hire additional staff and increase the size of the dairy herd to 4,000 cows.
Jim Ostrom, a partner in the farm, said the state regulatory approvals are welcome recognition of the dairy’s $6 million investment in environmental technology and the benefits it will produce.
“Rosendale Dairy is committed to a sound environment and a sound economy,” Ostrom said in a statement. “The scale and efficiency of our farm will allow us to operate in a sustainable way while creating jobs and reinvesting in our community. We appreciate the DNR’s extensive review and approval of our plans, and we look forward to establishing an enterprise that will provide for future generations.”
As part of the permit application process, Rosendale Dairy has spent two years conducting extensive environmental research related to air quality, soil, water and nutrient management. The dairy also has retained engineering and environmental consultants to analyze everything from rural traffic patterns to operational efficiencies.
In addition to the environmental impact statement and WPDES permit, Rosendale Dairy has sought and received 32 other permits and approvals necessary for its operation. The $70 million project will create 70 permanent local jobs, support hundreds of construction jobs and purchase $32 million per year from local contractors and vendors.
Ostrom said Rosendale Dairy will operate as one of the lowest carbon footprint dairies in the nation. The site in Fond du Lac County is close to a large base of crop farmers, who will benefit from Rosendale’s purchase of up to $4.8 million worth of feed products each year. Meanwhile, Rosendale Dairy will supply approximately 9 percent of the region’s soil nutrient needs, displacing fossil fuel-based fertilizers that are shipped into the area from other states and foreign countries.
The final environmental impact statement and the permit cover the first phase of the dairy with 4,000 cows. A possible second phase requiring additional public review and DNR approval could add 4,000 cows for an eventual total of 8,000 cows.
Ostrom and partners John Vosters and Todd Willer are third generation dairy farmers who have a history of working cooperatively with the state Department of Natural Resources. The partners’ two existing large farms, Tidy View Dairy near Kaukauna and Omro Dairy near Omro, have achieved an exceptional environmental performance record and Omro Dairy received an award from the Thompson Administration for the dairy business’s efforts on behalf of the environment.