Indiana regulators have a granted a key permit for an organic dairy farm that could become home to more than 4,000 cows in Newton County.
Natural Prairie Dairy says its cows will graze on alfalfa and grass that hasn’t been treated with synthetic herbicides or pesticides. Critics, including the Hoosier Environmental Council, fear the northwestern Indiana farm could harm wells and reduce property values.
The site is near The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands natural area . But the Indiana Department of Environmental Management says Natural Prairie has presented a satisfactory plan to deal with manure, which will be used as fertilizer.
Kim Ferraro, a lawyer with the Hoosier Environmental Council, tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that the state’s decision is “irresponsible.” Dairy manager Will De Jong says planning has improved, based on “listening to our neighbors.”