May 17, 2017

Walmartization of Wisconsin's Dairy Heritage

Clean water activists in Saratoga, Wisconsin fight for
water and oppose the siting of a proposed factory farm
Wisconsin residents are working to preserve a way of life, and revitalize a beautiful state primed for tourism and recreation.

Big Ag's response is a hard 'no.'

The Wysocki Family of Companies wants to begin operations of a massive factory farm sited in Saratoga, Wisconsin.

The problem for Wyscoki who first blindsided the region in 2012 with his plans is massive opposition to this project and a milk glut that makes the whole idea irrational for the foreseeable future.

That Wysocki's project would devastate a four-county region in central Wisconsin is not a concern for this corporation.

Over the entire state, citizen action is fighting the "Walmartization" of Wisconsin's dairy heritage, (Rome Saratoga Friendly, Kewaunee Cares).

By Don Ystad of Rome, Wisconsin

An interesting historical perspective on the milk lobby. Demand dwindles as consumers question the health benefit of drinking milk, and family farmers are driven out by the factory farmers. Meanwhile commerce in rural towns evaporates as small dairy farmers hang it up. The Walmartization of our dairy heritage.

And, Wysocki has now filed for appeal of the recent ruling reversing his vested rights. It makes one wonder why Wysocki would persist with his plans for a 5,300 cow dairy CAFO in Saratoga in a declining market, and in a residential/recreation area where local government and citizens are lined up by the hundreds to make his life miserable if he is successful in his appeal to the supreme court. I don't pretend to know about any behind the scenes negotiations that may have happened, but if the alternative is to abide by Saratoga's ordinance limiting the size of a farm and manure application, it's no wonder he would appeal.

So, what do we do in the meantime? Keep the pressure on our legislators to try to undo the lobbying influence of big agriculture. Support the legal actions being taken by Clean Wisconsin against the DNR for issuing high cap wells permits that ignore cumulative effect. Have your well tested to establish a baseline. For Rome-area people, you can register for testing and get your bottle at the Rome Town Hall on Saturday, July 15th - watch for details. Let's keep moving forward until we know Wysocki is finally defeated.

Read on - interesting article from National Public Radio.

When's the last time you had a glass of cow's milk?

Americans are drinking a lot less milk than they used to. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the average person drinks 18 gallons a year. Back in the 1970s it was more like 30 gallons a year. We once hoisted a glass with dinner, soaked our breakfast cereal or dipped into the occasional milkshake.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University and author of Food Politics, says, "The dairy industry has a lot of public relations that it is going to need to do to convince the public that it is producing a product that is healthy, good for animals, good for people and good for the planet."

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