A new 9,000-goat farm in Calumet County, Wis., will help meet the growing demand by cheese makers for goat milk, according to one of its owners.
Drumlin Dairy LLC, which is co-owned by Kenn Buelow, has an accepted offer to buy 35 acres in the Town of Brotherland, which is about 15 miles northeast of Fond du Lac. Buelow’s plans for the dairy call for 7,000 milking goats and 2,000 kid goats.
When the dairy is at full capacity, it would produce an estimated 25 tons of goat milk daily. Buelow, who also is part-owner of Holsum Dairies cow operations in Calumet County, said that while Wisconsin has the most milk goats in the country, more are still needed to meet cheese makers’ demands.
While Buelow ran into local opposition from residents when he sought a conditional use permit for a similar project in Jefferson County, he won’t face the same issues in Brothertown. According to the town’s zoning laws, a conditional use permit is not needed for the project.
Since Drumlin Dairy will have fewer than 10,000 goats – the number required by the state to have it considered a concentrated animal feeding operation or CAFO – it will not need approval from the Department of Natural Resources or meet the more rigorous water, soil and siting rules.
Buelow, however, said the farm will meet the same standards as a CAFO since it wants to be environmentally friendly. Buelow’s Holsum Dairies has been honored for its environmental efforts.
In addition to the Drumlin Dairy, Calumet County is home to Chilton Dairy, a farm that marks 700 goats and is owned by Wisconsin-based Milk Source. That operation — initially reported by the Chilton Times Journal on Jan. 7 by Betty Schilling — will make the area one of the nation’s leading goat milk producing capitals.
“Things are going well,” said Bill Harke, Milk Source’s director of public affairs. “We are working hard to maintain a clean construction site and develop an environmentally and operationally sound farm.”While Chilton Dairy is permitted to 8,400-goat capacity, Harke noted that figure is well beyond any projected current business plan needs.
Even at its highest capacity, Chilton Dairy would only require 600 tillable acres of land to sustain the herd. “And there are 100,000 tillable acres of land within a 10-mile radius of us,” he said.