Kewaunee Co. farm, DOJ reach $215,000 settlement

By: - March 27, 2023 3:16 pm
Holstein cows in a barn at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station's north campus near Stratford, Wis., Wednesday afternoon, July 11, 2018. Photo by Michael P. King/UW-Madison CALS

Holstein cows in a barn at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station’s north campus near Stratford, Wis. Photo by Michael P. King/UW-Madison CALS

A Kewaunee County factory farm has agreed to a $215,000 settlement with the Wisconsin Department of Justice over allegations it improperly spread manure in Door and Kewaunee counties from 2018 to 2022. 

The settlement with Kinnard Farms, which includes 16 industrial farming operations maintaining about 8,000 cows, also addresses allegations that   the farm failed to timely submit an engineering evaluation for a feed storage area and failed to timely submit annual nutrient management plan updates. The settlement calls for Kinnard Farms to upgrade two waste storage facilities and a feed storage facility. 

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to approve the settlement in a meeting on Tuesday. 

The company has faced criticism for years over pollution after contaminants were found in private wells in the area. 

Lee Kinnard, the company’s owner/operator, said in a statement the decision to settle was made in order to avoid a costly and time-consuming dispute. He also said the farms “look forward to pursuing state-of-the-art manure management technology.”

In April 2022, Kinnard Farms sued the state Department of Natural Resources over permitting changes that require the farms to monitor for groundwater contamination and limit the size of their herd. That lawsuit is still pending.


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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.