By Kriss Marion
Wisconsin State Farmer
USA Today Network - Wisconsin
Wake up Wisconsin! We are very much on the road to sacrificing our state’s primary natural resources — clean lakes, streams and wells and the beauty they support — for the opportunity to beat California at the dairy game it has already lost by ruining its water. Why are so many mega-dairy developers being lured to Wisconsin from California, Nebraska and Iowa? Because the cost of doing business there has risen as water woes have increased. Do Wisconsin citizens really want to be the cheapest state in which to operate industrial agriculture?
I encourage all of you who love living here to keep your eyes open for the ways in which Wisconsin’s primary industries, Agriculture and Tourism, are being pitted against each other by industrial ag interests, rather than working together to coexist with each other and with the frogs, birds and bugs that make our landscape so vitally alive. Perhaps the most tragic result of the takeover of Wisconsin lands by corporate interests, and possibly the most ultimately damaging to our shared culture, is the accelerated loss of the family-scaled farms and dairies which have defined our lifestyle and captured our imagination for decades.