Dairy Business Association settles court battle with WI Department of Natural Resources

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit between the Dairy Business Association and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

DBA President Mike North says they filed suit because the DNR was overreaching its rulemaking authority in areas where rainwater came in contact with calf hutches and feed storage areas.  North tells Brownfield farmers follow the rules, but that’s hard when the rules keep changing.  “We’ve done our job to point out that you have to follow the rules just like everybody else and if you want to make a change, here’s the process to do it and functionally, a guy can make an investment into his operation without worrying about a changing rulebook in the days that follow.”

North says the settlement was reached after the Department of Justice reviewed the pending case.  “The Department of Justice reviewed our claims and upon conferring among themselves, they agreed with us and said yes, you are right and this was an overreach and we are going to essentially provide you a path forward now.”

North says the lawsuit was never about rolling back regulations, but about creating regulations according to a legally prescribed process.  He says this settlement gives farmers certainty and will also save them time and money on their farm conservation projects by avoiding delays and plan changes.

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