Letter: Critical error in farm story

To the editor:

In seeing the story about our farm (July 28 edition), I want to point out a critical error.

The story and photo caption say that the calf barns were built without approval. That’s NOT true.

We had formal approval from Shawano County as part of our siting license in 2010. At that time, there was no requirement from the DNR for 100 percent collection of water, so there was no reason to submit anything to DNR.

All of our barns were built by 2015. It was not until March 2016 that the DNR began telling farmers they had to have runoff controls for calf barns. No one in the industry was using them before then.

This is an extremely important point. Our reputation is being damaged. We did nothing without approval. It’s absolutely unfair to claim otherwise.

The DNR should be made to respond to this.

We are not breaking any rules and have already offered assurances that we work hard to protect the environment and comply with the state regulations. Along with working hard to protect the environment, we also work hard to protect our status in the industry so we can stay farming like we have been since 1966, but keeping up with today’s tough dairy industry and misled media makes it difficult to grow and take pride in what we have built as a family.

Heather Matsche,

Matsche Farms Inc.,

Birnamwood