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Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative adds permitting support, hires director

Coop expands service offerings to support large farms in regulatory and permitting processes.

December 11, 2023

2 Min Read

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative plans to expand its service offerings to support large farms in regulatory and permitting processes and has hired an experienced industry professional to head up the program.

The new fee-based services will be available to guide farmers through the complexities of local and state permitting and various regulations for large farms, whether they’re expanding to the threshold of a confined animal feeding operation or reapplying for a CAFO permit.

“Navigating these processes can be a very complicated undertaking,” Edge CEO Tim Trotter said. “We believe there is a need for a dedicated set of resources that we can help deliver for farmers who are considering an expansion, starting the permitting process or seeking a renewal.”

Trotter said the services will be available starting early next year, mainly in Wisconsin, where the majority of the cooperative’s members are located, but could expand later on elsewhere in the Midwest.

To help develop and to manage the program, Edge has hired Tim Baumgartner as director of regulatory and permitting services. He will align members with available resources though a network of Edge-associated service providers.

“The goal of Edge’s program is to assist dairy farmers in understanding, organizing and following the permitting and reissuance process, and minimizing bottlenecks to obtaining a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System CAFO permit,” Baumgartner said. “I look forward to 2024 and the positive impact we will have in the future.” 

Baumgartner worked in the Farm Credit System for the past 18 years, most recently as the team leader for dairy lending at Compeer Financial, a cooperative headquartered in Sun Prairie, Wis. Prior to that, he was project and operations manager for a large Wisconsin dairy farming operation.

Baumgartner’s background in both permitting and farm business planning make him a perfect fit for Edge, Trotter said.

“With the vast amount of hands-on experience Tim brings to our team, he will be a valuable resource for our members,” he said.

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