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    Wisc. largest dairy farm catches fire

    11:10 AM, Oct 17, 2012   |    comments
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    ROSENDALE, Wisc. (CNN/WLUK) -- Wisconsin's largest dairy farm is picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed one of its barns on Tuesday.

    Damages from this fire at Rosendale Dairy could exceed $1 million, but officials with the farm realize it could have been much worse. Bill Harke says, "We don't like to see a fire, but no one is hurt and no calves are hurt."

    Harke is a spokesperson for Milk Source LLC which owns Rosendale Dairy and several other dairy farms in the area.

    He says the fire's damage includes an estimated $500,000 in feed and the commodity shed, which has an estimated value between $500,000 and $1 million.

    Harke says the fire started when a piece of farm equipment sparked and spread to grain in the barn. Harke says, "We had two workers in there, they went and got the fire extinguishers, followed our training procedures, tried to put the fire out, knew they couldn't put it out, came out an called 911."

    At least seven fire departments helped battle the blaze. Harke says, "The important thing is it was a building and some feed. No employees got hurt, the cows are still at work inside."

    Rosendale Dairy has about 82 employees to help with its 8,400 cows. The farm produces 78,000 gallons daily, but the fire isn't expected to interfere with the usual workload. Harke says, "We already have feed coming over from some of our other locations. We won't miss a feeding."

    Rosendale Dairy opened in 2008. Farm officials say its local yearly economic impact is about $35 million.

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