Supporting Family Farms
Due to the influx of factory farming, our Wisconsin farmers have often been forced to quit farming altogether because they are not able to compete with the larger operations. Factory farming has taken over most of the family operations, and that is detrimental to all Wisconsinites for many reason, as explained below.
Farmers have the right to earn a living and small farms don’t make enough to support themselves.
Wisconsin lost 2,515 dairy farms between 2017 and 2021!
Factory Farming Issues:
Factory farming is a major contributor to water and air pollution as well as deforestation. This can contaminate local water supplies, reach neighboring populations physically and in a sensorial capacity, and emit harmful gasses. Likewise, livestock release methane gas during their digestion process, and large concentrations of these herds will clearly have a greater impact on their surrounding communities.
In factory farming they also lose the relationship with the cows, thereby causing the cows under produce. Because of this, more cows are required, which increases the amount of pollution.
More money and incentives should be spent on family farms. Wisconsin leads the nation in farm bankruptcy.
The factory farms are not held accountable for pollution and waterways, and absolutely should be. Sewage treatment is important to protect waterways, and factory farms should be responsible for this, as is any other factory that compromises our natural air and water supply.
In 2012, CWAC (California Water Action Collaborative) members from Kewaunee, Door, and Brown counties asked for our help in addressing issues related to factory farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Their first concern was for safe drinking water. In some Kewaunee County towns, as much as 40% of the wells tested were found unsafe due to the presence of bacteria or high levels of nitrates, or both.
Odor complaints became more common as liquid manure storage and spreading was replacing dry manure on many different size farms. On factory size farms the odor was amplified because, rather than having 500 animals, factory farms could contain up to 5000 animals! Liquid manure odor is often referred to as a stench since the smell is more like what is found near some industrial sites and can be harmful to breathe.
Some people aren’t concerned about this because they believe it does not yet affect them but, believe me, it absolutely already does affect all of us!