Illinois Court to Decide Fate of Mega Dairy

The nonprofit group Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards (HOMES) of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, achieved yet another victory against a massive, industrial-scale dairy operation. Investor and California millionaire A.J. Bos is attempting to build a dairy factory farm holding up to 13,000 cows about one mile outside of Nora, Ill.

According to their website, HOMES is a group of farmers and citizens whose mission is to protect family farms, rural communities, human health, and the overall environment by promoting sustainable agriculture and conserving natural resources. “We’re just trying to keep our air clean and our water safe,” HOMES board member Matthew Alschuler told local media. “If the fish die and our wells go bad, our pastoral county will become a wasteland.”

HOMES's previous legal successes in-state caused Bos and his legal team to petition the federal court for a change of venue. However, Judge Philip G. Reinhard of the US district court of the Northern District of Illinois agreed with HOMES that the case should be decided where people will be affected by the outcome, and returned the case back to the state court.

It was Bos’s third major defeat trying to get his animal factory up and running in this state. In October of last year, a local county judge signed a Preliminary Injunction halting the operation of the proposed start-up facility that would house 6,850 animals; in December, the judge ruled that HOMES did not need to post the $4.3 million bond for the Preliminary Injunction, which Bos and his legal advisors requested to cover a loss of estimated profits, among other alleged losses.

A new court date has yet to be scheduled.

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