An award-winning Wisconsin dairy farmer is claiming $3 million for damages after he says he was forced to close his barn because he was no longer able to pay his rent.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Jonathan Jones claims the state of Wisconsin did not properly investigate his barns, and he’s being compensated by the dairy.
Jones was the owner of the Madison Dairy Farm at the time of his barn closing in January 2019.
In his suit, Jones says he lost $1.5 million and his farm’s farm bill ballooned from $6,000 to more than $30,000.
Jones says the state did not conduct a proper investigation and that he had to close the barn to pay the rent.
The case is still in the early stages.
The state has been asked to provide a copy of the investigation report.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said it was unable to provide information to the Wisconsin Public Television Channel due to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The department also said it could not provide a summary of the findings from the investigation, but said it had “no information to comment.”
The lawsuit says Jones was trying to keep his barn open by offering to pay rent, but it was denied.
Jones, who is based in Racine, Wis., says he has been renting the barn since the barn was built in 2009 and is unable to pay him rent because he can no longer pay the bills.
He’s hoping the lawsuit will help him pay his bills.
The lawsuit also alleges that the dairy did not have a properly-qualified manager and that it did not implement any measures to prevent the barn from becoming a hazard to the public or animals.