Burnett County residents voice opposition as large-scale hog farm continues to push forward | KSTP.com

Burnett County residents voice opposition as large-scale hog farm continues to push forward

Jessica Miles
Updated: August 03, 2021 06:28 PM
Created: August 03, 2021 05:27 PM

A massive hog farm in Burnett County, Wisconsin continues to push forward. Cumberland, LLC, has submitted paperwork to turn 277,000 square feet of farmland into a 26,000-head hog operation.

"There's a lot more to this than what is in front of you, so I think we need to slow way down," one resident said Tuesday morning in Siren.

It was a packed room, with residents of Burnett County and neighboring counties showing up with signs in hand to share their concerns about a massive hog operation that wants to open in Trade Lake, just southwest of Siren.

"They are a for-profit company, they're based in China and they really don't care about the environment here," another resident said.

The proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) would hold 26,350 hogs, and Cumberland plans to also spread manure from the facility on nearby fields.

"I mow grass for a living. Last week, I'm out mowing, we had all that smoke, remember that, the air was brown, think of that as being hog manure in the air that you can see," another resident said.

Residents were first made aware of the operation wanting to come into Burnett County back in 2019, and since then have been fighting against it, concerned about what a farm that size with that many animals would do to the water and air quality, as well as home and cabin values.

"Just a mere mention of a CAFO in Trade Lake, I know, has caused a few real estate deals to fall through," said Howard Pahl.

Pahl is the president of nocafos.org, a Michigan-based educational nonprofit.

He says because Jeff Sauer, the man who he says signed the permits for the hog farm, is not an owner, operator or power of attorney for Cumberland, the permit should be thrown out.

"We have letters all the way from the governor and the attorney general, the district attorney, the county administrator and they all act like this permit is just fine," he said.

Pahl says it's a battle they will continue to fight.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to Cumberland, LLC, and Jeff Sauer but has not heard back.

No decision was made at Tuesday's Burnett County Land Use and Information Committee meeting; instead, the public hearing and discussion will continue next month.

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