"Please contact all of your neighbors, friends and relatives who own property in our town and ask them to help get the word out about the meeting on January 16th at the Rome (Adams County, Wisconsin) town hall. We need to stand together as a community to understand the issue and decide what we can do individually to protect our own interests and our community [against the proposed Golden Sands Dairy CAFO in the town of Saratoga next door in Wood County]. And please, in addition to contacting others, attend this meeting yourselves."
So reads a typical message by citizens against industrialized agriculture, the CAFO (Concentrated (Confined Agricultural Feeding Operations), sited or proposed across Wisconsin.
There's a new gang of perpetrators in town. They're called Big Agriculture and citizens are fighting back as the lifeblood of humanity and the biosphere—fresh, safe water—faces a grave threat.
Corporate polluters are not just DuPont, Dow Chemical Co., Monsanto Co., (putting aside energy extraction sectors for this discussion), they're the worst offenders in polluting water, even as too many in the state of Iowa and Wisconsin look to become a corporate subsidiary, ((Eller and Doering, Des Monies Register).
When industrialized conglomerates operate, most Americans realize the corporations want—exist for—profits and market share.
Toxic waste produced ... , well, it's not like corporate officers live and work in the factories, the camps of industrialized agriculture and liquid manure lagoons.
Health and environmental poisons, aka toxic wastes, emitting from industrialized agriculture and vectored into American society are acceptable costs of doing business, acceptable to the corporation (Masar, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project) (Hansen, NASA; Fabien, Jacob, Harvard University).
Poisoning our water though is a crime too far.
Among the last major sectors of our economy to become industrialized is agriculture, (Yelle, Western Illinois University).
Abolitionists and assorted progressives had destroyed slavery, (and later drove up migrant labor (loved by Big Ag) costs (troublemakers)), and for a considerable historical period, agriculture was a pillar of rural America and progressive politics.
Small farmers were often politically progressive, working intimately with land grant public universities in the American heartland, (University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Idea for example), roughly from the later 19th through the late 20th century.
Politically, in Wisconsin for example, a force of state history in the early 20th century was the Sewer Socialists of Milwaukee and myriad progressives making common cause with rural, small farmers.
Likewise the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and Minnesota Democratic Party "provided the organic connection between labor and the party," as noted by Graeme Anfinson, (Anfinson, CounterPunch; Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) .
The rise of industrialized agriculture (Big Agriculture) has greatly assisted in weakening this political farm-labor coalition, and the results have been catastrophic: Politically, economically, environmentally, medically, and morally.
No cause for despair, citizens are fighting back and to use Wisconsin as an anthology the new business model of Big Ag embodied in the CAFO, (Concentrated (Confined Agricultural Feeding Operations) is generating popular opposition and citizen activism increasing seemingly by the week.
To be precise, the CAFO is poisoning Wisconsin's water, air and land, (chemically and biologically), is driving down small home property valuations, as Gov. Scott Walker (Sociopathic Party-Wisc) has usurped the historical and mythical ethos of the vanishing small farmer and existing hyper-segregation, creating a veritable axis Party of racism and corporatism.
Any nihilist is welcome to join the "Koch Industries Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin," as Charles P. Pierce nails it in his Esquire dispatches.
Wisconsin Citizens and the Counterattack
As Prof. John Ikerd, an ally of citizens protecting water, writes:
[Aldo] Leopold’s Land Ethic mostly simply stated is: 'A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.' I propose the following maxim for an ethic of sustainability: A thing is right when it tends to enhance the quality and integrity of all life on earth by means that honor the unique responsibilities and rewards of humans as members and caretakers of the earth’s integral community. A thing is wrong when it tends otherwise." I believe it is important that we begin to guide the sustainability movements by questioning what is right and wrong. (Partridge, The Philosophical Foundations of Aldo Leopold’s 'Land Ethic' cited in The Online Gadfly)
It's a presidential election year, folks, stay tuned, poisoning the peoples' lifeblood just does not play well politically.
Just a matter of time before a people "stand together as a community to understand the issue and decide what we can do individually to protect our own interests," as a central Wisconsin citizen writes.
Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, time to call for vastly expanding the EPA, as people living in states under Republican rule suffer, a project national Republicans wish to expand.