Our Fresh Water: Manure

The bounty of Wisconsin’s farmers not only feeds and provides jobs for our state, but also effects the lives of people around the world. However, with large scale dairy operations comes a vast amount Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). The manure created from these feedlots is often used as fertilizer for future crop cycles, which if not dealt with properly becomes a toxic agent that effects our fresh water supply. Agriculture industry manure, along with commercial fertilizers represent the greatest danger to our state’s water supply. Over 300 CAFOs dot Wisconsin’s rural landscape, some have dramatically polluted surface and groundwater supplies, especially in northeastern Wisconsin. Water required for these operations is wasteful; Wisconsin should see more local control of farming, where the land is able to be nurtured and tended, not tapped. Moving towards the Family Farm model, reviewing CAFO zoning laws, investing in manure digesters, a more equipped DNR, and minor herd reductions are all initial steps towards a safer water supply. Farmers are friends of Wisconsin.

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