Dec 20, 2016

Big Ag in Wisconsin: Depleted, Fecal-Infused Water Is Good for You

 Big Agriculture PR Offensive: Lies and Lies
Update: Big Ag's presentation in Portage County in central Wisconsin falls flat. About 14 member of Protect Wood County went to the Portage County Board meeting Tuesday night. The place was absolutely packed and a number of us had to sit in an adjoining courtroom and watch the
proceedings through a video link. Louis Wysocki gave the WPVGA, [agri-business] presentation and did a remarkably poor job of it.  After that 10 citizens gave three-minute minute rebuttals that were uniformly articulate and fact-based. Our Criste Greening did exceptionally well. Then three County Board members spoke in favor of protecting our water.  Louis and Big Ag had no one speaking in their support!
Amid safe drinking-water concerns among Wisconsin families, Big Agriculture has launched a new public relations project just in time for the holidays, as 1,000s of citizens revamp efforts to stop a massive a factory farm from operating.

The project includes a new, high-end website purporting to be devoted to water conservation, offering readers a 180-page Orwellian "High Capacity Wells Fact Book," cloaked in the language of conserve-and-protect our water. [Nice piece of work, if content is ignored.]

High-capacity water wells draw 70 or more gallons of groundwater a minute, or 100,800 or more gallons of water a day. Under Republican administration, the safety and protection of private water wells in Wisconsin is now virtually nonexistent, a regulatory regime that is being litigated by clean water advocates, as clean water groups look to federal law in the face of Republican hostility.

The industrial-scale water depleters operate under the prevailing Big Ag assumptions that water is in endless supply; rural Wisconsin is an unlimited sewer; and rural, Wisconsin folks' abiding belief that huge agribusiness are the inheritors of the mythical small farmer—the Wisconsin volk, (Mal Contends).

Who knew Big Ag was in league with the Sierra Club, and not the corporate institutional imperatives of generating profits and transferring costs onto society? No, Wisconsinites are led to believe the Big Ag industry are water warriors.

Boat launch at Long Lake, near Plainfield, Wisconsin, no longer
reaches the water, depleted and drained by high-capacity wells.
Nothing to see here, assures industrialized agriculture.
Photo: Kate Golden, (Wisconsin Watch)
Asked about Big Ag's all-we-want-is-clean-and-safe-water messages emitted last campaign season, clean water activists laughed, pointing to Wisconsin's Republican attorney general, Wisconsin's Republican state assembly, and everything Republican

Popular sentiment notes industrialized agriculture's costs inflicted onto communities in water pollution, water depletion, air pollution, and medical illness.

So, the Big Ag propaganda offensive omits mention of these unpleasant consequences of vectoring millions of gallons of untreated cow feces into the air and water.

Big Ag assures us factory farms are carrying on the tradition of Wisconsin's "great grandfathers" believing in the manner of a zealot the holy mission that Big Ag must "protect the land and protect the water for without both of them, your life as a farmer will be forever forgotten." Big Ag will say and do anything.

Big Ag owners are not farmers, they are corporatists.

What's next? In the next legislative session, Republicans and too many Democrats are poised to legislate a massive give-away of public water to Big Ag.

Having decimated state government protection of water, in Wisconsin's counties and municipalities Big Ag is on the offensive:

From Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The attack has officially begun!  We have heard rumblings that bad water bills are staged to be presented as soon as our Wisconsin Legislature is back in session. To promote a smooth transition for passage of these bad bills, large scale AG groups are hitting local governments with preplanned presentations promoting  their “Water Fact Book” created by the industry which is packed full of false claims and misleading information.

It is apparent Big Ag is setting the stage for an all-out assault on our groundwater resources.

A memo from the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Grows Association (WPVGA) outlines how they are planning to target all the central sands county boards and have someone present these boards with the High Capacity Wells fact book 'facts', graphs, data during the December board meetings.

Purpose: (taken from the memo)
Our main goal is to head off local activist pressure on county and town boards to prevent them from passing irrational resolutions or writing letters to the legislature which could have a negative impact on our legislative efforts.

Our group was notified a few days ago that Louis Wysocki is scheduled to present at the upcoming Portage County board meeting on Tuesday Dec 20th.  We have also heard that the plan is to hit all local county boards in a very short time period.  We have looked over the Wood and Adams County Board agendas for this month and so far have not come across a planned presentation.  If it does hit either county we will let you know ASAP.

What does this mean for you and me?
#1 – We need all our supporters to reactivate and re-engage.   A concerted effort is needed in showing a presence at local meetings both in Wood County and in our sister communities that need assistance.

#2 – Be ready to contact your local and state officials with your questions and concerns about groundwater legislation.

#3 – Be vigilant at checking your emails and Facebook accounts for last minute updates and alerts.  Often hearings for legislative bills are given only 24 hours’ notice and plans are made at the last moment to hit Madison.

#4 – SHARE, SHARE, SHARE – Share information about bad legislation, upcoming meetings, encourage participation on our email list and Facebook page.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER we need everyone sharing information with family and friends to successfully beat back the bad water legislation coming our way.

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