Industrial Dairies in Kewaunee County, WI
Kewaunee County, Wisconsin currently ranks first in the state for cattle density, CAFO density per acre and recent cow herd growth. The county is also number two in total number of permitted CAFOs for its 15 industrial dairies and one large-scale beef operation, just behind Brown County. The result of a massive dairy cow population in Kewaunee County — current figures show cattle outnumber people 4 to 1 — is an out-of-control, hazardous manure issue on the western shore of Lake Michigan. Kewaunee County CAFOs produce the shocking waste equivalent of 924,882 humans — approximately equal to the populations of Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay combined.
In documented problems spanning three decades, the RAP SHEETS highlight WDNR’s routine practice of rubber- stamping CAFO applications, resulting in the troubling fact that the Wisconsin county is buckling under the yearly weight of 340 million gallons of untreated liquefied CAFO manure and 81,332 tons of untreated, pharmaceutical-laden solid CAFO manure which is applied annually to local cropland. The report documents a public health crisis that has stretched Kewaunee County’s human and environmental safety standards to the point of near collapse. Residents report overwhelming noxious odors, manure residue in home tap water, illegal manure spills and runoff into local waterways and properties, undocumented fish kills in local streams and physical ailments, including respiratory issues, headaches, watering eyes and nausea.
Download and read the whole report here.