WHAT WILL IT BE: GOLF OR CAFO?
Mike Keiser is a Chicago businessman and golf developer. He built a first-class golf course in Bandon, Oregon, a small town that was transformed by the golf course. Keiser is planning a Sand Valley golf course to open in northern Adams County in 2017. This area is a thriving residential/ recreation spot that can attract many tourists through the new Sand Valley Golf Resort.
This soil in this area is sandy and water permeates rapidly. Many years ago, this land was at the bottom of an ancient glacial lake. Such soil is easily polluted. A golf course would work on this type of soil.
However, a massive cattle farm would not work on this soil. This is where CAFO comes in. CAFO stands for Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation. Wysocki Family of Companies wants to build a CAFO with 5300 cattle in southern Wood County.
The Golden Sands Dairy would produce about 50 million gallons of liquid waste per year, which would be spread practically untreated on fields near hundreds of home. It is spread through aerial irrigators (flying through the air). The proposed Dairy would be on 8000 acres of what is currently managed forest land. Yes, those trees would be cut down, exposing the soil to more pollution.
To give you an idea of how Wysocki Dairy LLC works, this company applied for all state, county and local permits in one action and surprised the community. There was no letter of intent or any warning for concerned citizens or for neighboring homes that would be affected.
When the Town of Saratoga in Wood County refused to grant new building permits, Wysocki sued the town. Recently, Judge Eagon declared the Wysockis were permitted to proceed in Saratoga.
Recently Wood County passed a resolution in a committee vote banning the aerial applications of manure. The Walker Administration reportedly contacted local Wood County officials and said it wanted the manure ban resolution killed in committee.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is supposed to protect area waters and the environment. However, the Scott Walker-altered DNR now permits high capacity wells for CAFO operations.
The Golden Sands Dairy would need 49 high capacity wells to pump 7.3 billion gallons of water from the aquifer annually. People in small rural towns depend on local groundwater aquifers for their water.
Along with polluted water would be the air pollution. Saratoga, Grand Rapids, Nekoosa, Port Edwards and Rome will have stinky air. CAFOs fill the air with pollutants which carry human health risks.
CAFOs impact local property values, as much as a 50 per cent decrease in value. Besides, who wants to live where the water is polluted, the air is stinky. You must keep the windows closed and the AC running the whole time. You can’t hang laundry outside. CAFOs fill the air with pollutants which carry human health risks.
CAFO animals are fed lots of antibiotics which get into the manure which reach the soil which gets into the ground water. Nobody knows how this affects human health.
The Wysockis have looked only at making a profit. They have not considered human nor animal nor soil health. They have not considered the social license or Corporate Social Responsibility. They have not shown any sense of responsibility toward the community and environment.
But the story doesn’t stop here. The people of Wood and Adams County have formed several citizen groups to stop this CAFO.
Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors is one such group that is 700 people strong. You can find their website and you can find them on Facebook. Recently they went to Madison to meet with legislators. They are working hard to fight the spread of high capacity wells and the draining of the aquifer. Their purpose is to preserve and protect the environment and our Wisconsin quality of life.
So what will it be: golf or CAFO? You can’t have both.