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DNR hosting hearing for large-scale Adams County dairy Tuesday

Cows in a large milking barn
Cows in a large milking barn

ADAMS, Wis. (WSAU) -- A hearing will take place in Adams Tuesday afternoon to discuss a proposed large-scale dairy cattle operation.

The Department of Natural Resources will answer questions starting at 1:00 p.m. and then hold a public hearing on the planned 3,100 heifer raising operation called Burr Oak Heifers.

Jeff Opitz is the owner, and has had manure contamination issues on this site in the past when he operated a feedlot. The Opitz farm already has paid a $65,000 fine for the previous groundwater contamination.

Opitz says he is now a minority in a new partnership which has invested millions to upgrade the site to safely handle the cattle and the estimated 3 million gallons of liquid manure and nearly 46,000 tons of solid manure annually.

Many neighbors and environmentalists oppose the proposal, saying it’s too close to another 4,500 cow operation called Richfield Dairy, just a half a mile away. Opponents believe the potential for contamination remains high and they are concerned about two high-capacity wells so close together and the effect on the other area wells.

The hearing will be at the Adams County Community Center in Adams. The Opitz farm already has paid a $65,000 fine for the previous groundwater contamination.