Organic Dairy Facility Gets Green Light

Posted: Updated:
The operation will be located on a 2,500-acre site in Newton County. (image courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana) The operation will be located on a 2,500-acre site in Newton County. (image courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

A controversial large-scale organic dairy project in Newton County is moving forward. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report construction has begun on the facility for the Texas-based Natural Prairie Dairy project, which is opposed by many due to environmental contamination concerns.

The property sits near the former Beaver Lake and is also adjacent to The Nature Conservancy's Kankakee Sands natural area. Some residents, as well as the Hoosier Environmental Council, expressed concerns that polluted water from the dairy could flow into the Kankakee River and pollute the groundwater that feeds private wells in the area, according to the publication. 

Opponents of the project had accused Natural Prairie Dairy of making misleading statements about its plans to use new technology to process manure from more than 4,300 cows and asked the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to evaluate the company's claims. The IDEM says the company's plans met existing requirements for a permit without any manure processing.

"For almost a year, we have been attending and hosting community meetings, listening to our neighbors, and based upon valuable feedback, we improved our plans," said Will De Jong, organic dairy manager for Natural Prairie Dairy. "Our family wants to thank the impartial environmental experts at IDEM for their extensive, rigorous review of our 273-page permit application. In addition, we want to express our appreciation to those in the community who have supported us and those who had concerns."

Kim Ferraro, senior staff attorney with the Hoosier Environmental Council told The Times the decision by IDEM to approve a permit for the project is disappointing.

"The decision is nothing less than irresponsible and poses an unnecessary and serious risk to human health, the environment, wildlife habitat and quality of life for people who live nearby," Ferraro said. "HEC will continue to stand with Newton County residents in their fight to stop this ill-conceived project."

  • Perspectives

    • Leaders Know How to Set the PACE

      Whether or not you’re a fan, you are probably familiar with the most important car in the starting field of most any major race event.  It’s the one car at the beginning of the race, the pace car, that provides the most important lessons since it plays a vital role in leading the way and helping the race get off to the appropriate start. There’s a lot for leaders to learn from that role. Having led countless nonprofits and business teams, and now consulting...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (Image courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.)

      Colts Announce Training Schedule, Title Sponsor

      The Indianapolis Colts and the city of Westfield have unveiled the schedule for the team's 2019 training camp at Grand Park Sports Campus. The camp will be held for the second time at the venue as part of a 10-year partnership announced last year. The team also announced the camp's title sponsor will be Indianapolis tech company...

    • TechPoint CEO Mike Langellier is among the event's speakers.

      New Partnership Goes on the Hunt for Tech Talent

      A new effort to attract top tech talent has launched in Indiana. TechPoint, the state's technology accelerator, is teaming up with Indianapolis-based TMap LLC, to find former Hoosiers currently working out of state in the tech industry and bring them back to Indiana. Through the initiative, the partners will identify the top 25 applicants who will be invited to a red carpet weekend this fall that will feature meetings with potential employers and events showcasing quality of life...
    • (photo courtesy of the Indiana State Teachers Association)

      Former ISTA President Dies

      The former president of the Indiana State Teachers Association has died. Nate Schnellenberger began working with the ISTA in 1987 and was elected president in 2007, a role he held for six years. He was 68.

    • (photo courtesy of Dan McGowan)

      Senate Study Committee Assignments Revealed

      Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) has announced the interim study committee assignments for 2019. The interim study committees are set to meet this summer and fall to discuss a variety of topics ahead of the 2020 Indiana General Assembly.

    • KSM Consulting Acquires Web Development Company

      Indianapolis-based KSM Consulting is adding to its portfolio. The firm, which specializes in technology, data analytics and management consulting, has acquired Connect Think, an app development company also based in Indy. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.