Dairy opposition group sets agenda, urges involvement

SARATOGA -- Leaders of a group that opposes a proposed large-scale dairy in south Wood County stressed the importance of organization, research and order during a Wednesday night meeting at the Saratoga Town Hall. On June 6, the Wysocki Family of Companies announced plans for building a 3,500-cow, 6,000-acre dairy in Saratoga. According to information from the state Department of Natural Resources, the proposed dairy actually would have 4,000 milking and dry cows, 300 heifers and 1,000 calves, for a total of 5,300 animals. It also would include 8,000 acres of Saratoga land -- about 6,400 of which would be used for crops.

Wysocki officials have said the dairy will employ 35 people with wages of $30,000 and up.

Since Wysocki announced its plans for the dairy, residents of both Saratoga and Rome have expressed concern about the potential lowering of the water table and of local creeks and streams as well as fertilizer and manure contaminating water with nitrates.

The opposition group, Protect Wood County and its Neighbors, held the informational and organizational meeting to get residents mobilized in preparation for the Aug. 23 state DNR public hearings. The meetings are set to run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Saratoga Town Hall.