State files criminal charges against Wisconsin dairy farm

State prosecutors filed criminal charges against a Kewaunee farmer, agronomist, and hauler who allegedly illegally dumped nearly 3 million gallons of excess manure that washed into tributaries of Lake Michigan, according to a report from the Associated Press.

All three defendants are charged with felony counts of conspiracy and fraud.

According to a criminal complaint, the farmer had accumulated too much manure at his 2,000-cow dairy operation in late 2019 and hired a hauler to spread it to avoid a permit violation. The manure spread on the saturated fields exceeded what was allowed by the farmer’s permit, and the excess manure washed into tributaries of Lake Michigan, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that the person who spread the manure gave the farmer a false report saying he had spread much less, and all three defendants were aware of the fabricated record.