Hearing Friday will focus on plan for large dairy outside Vale

Dairy cows move along a fence line on an Oregon farm. (Enterprise file photo/OSU Extension Service)

Local residents can learn more about plans for a large dairy outside of Vale and give their opinions during a state hearing this Friday, Oct. 29.

The former Recla Dairy about six miles west of Vale is seeking permission from the Oregon Department of Agriculture for a dairy with up to 9,000 cows.

The property has been sold to a buyer who hasn’t been publicly identified, but plans submitted to the state call for what’s been described as one of the largest dairies in Oregon.

The Agriculture Department is conducting Friday’s public hearing before it decides on revising the permit for the confined animal feeding operation, or CAFO. The virtual hearing is at 3 p.m. MT. The website to join is: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/349229389.

Those who want to attend the online event will have to sign in even if they aren’t speaking.

State officials will open the hearing by presenting information about the proposal and the process for considering the revised permit. They will answer audience questions as well.

Those who want to testify about the permit should focus their comments on the proposal and changes to the animal waste management plan. No time limit has been set on testimony but that could change, depending on the number of speakers.

Written comments can be submitted up to 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, Nov. 4. They should be sent [email protected].

Andrea Cantu-Schomus, Agriculture Department communications director, said agency officials would respond to all comments.

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