By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Crawford County CAFO Study Group to resume meetings
CC CAFO Study Group
PARTICIPANTS at the first meeting of the Crawford County CAFO Study Group were, from top center clockwise, Kim Moret, County Con-servationist David Troester, citizens Susan Collins, Edie Ehlert, and Forest Jahnke, Public Health Nurse Cindy Riniker and a student intern, citizen-member Janet Widder, UW-Extension Economic De-velopment Coordinator Jessica Spayde, Supervi-sor Dave Olson, and Land Conservation employee Becky Nagel. The other citizen member, Nikki Wagner participated by phone.

CRAWFORD COUNTY - After a several-month hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Crawford County CAFO Study Group will resume meeting. The group will meet via Zoom on Wednesday, June 24, starting at 9 a.m.

To join the meeting, go to, or join by phone at 312-626-6799, meeting ID 833 3001 1904.

Invited speakers will include:

Tyler Dix and Claire O’Connell, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), Wastewater Specialists, will present to the group. Dix and O’Connell will discuss Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) water quality permits that CAFOs are required to apply for in order to operate.

Bob Gollnik with the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission will discuss zoning options for regulating livestock siting.

Previous meetings

At their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, the Crawford County Board of Supervisors voted 10-7 to enact a one-year moratorium on permitting of new or expanded livestock facilities with greater than 1,000 animal units. Almost 80 citizens attended the meeting to provide input to the board prior to the vote.

A CAFO Study Group was formed to hear and discuss expert input, review scientific literature, and submit a final report to the Crawford County Board by October of 2019. Members of the group include: Land Conservation Committee members Supervisor Dave Olson and local dairy farmers Kim Moret; Crawford County Conservationist Dave Troester; Crawford County Director of Public Health Cindy Riniker; Jessica Spayde of UW-Extension; CAFO Specialist Nikki Wagner; and Citizen Member Janet Widder.

At the group’s first meeting on February 19, 2020, chairperson Dave Olson clarified the study group’s mission:

 “We don’t have a quorum of the Land Conservation Committee at these study group meetings, so this group’s role is not to make decisions,” Olson said. “The job of this study group is to study what the impacts of CAFOs might be on the county’s health, safety and welfare, and to make a report.”
DATCP presents to CAFO Study Group
LISA TRUMBLE, DATCP Land and Water Resource Management Specialist, and Jennifer Heaton-Amrhein, DATCP Chief, Land Resources Management Section/Land and Water Resources Bureau, spoke to members of the Crawford County CAFO Study Group on March 12, in Prairie du Chien.

Two Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) staff spoke to members of the study group at their second meeting on Thursday, March 12. 

DATCP’s Jennifer Heaton-Amhrein and Lisa Trumble told group members that their best approach to protect water in the county through ordinances regulating agriculture is to cite local “scientifically defensible findings of fact.”

Standards more stringent than those dictated by statewide DATCP or DNR rules can be implemented if:

• adopted in ordinance

• based on scientifically defensible findings of fact

• justified by public health and safety

If the more strict local standards relate to water quality, then they will have to be reviewed by WDNR or DATCP. If the more strict standards relate to other matters regulated or not regulated by the statewide livestock facility siting law, there is no state review process. Matters such as restricting the method and amount of transport or land spreading of manure could be brought on appeal to the DATCP Livestock Facility Siting Review Board or be reviewed in a court action brought by an entity that decided to challenge them.  

After the second meeting, the study group’s meetings were suspended in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘Safer at Home’ order.