Anti-CAFO Citizen Groups Hope Unity Leads To Success
April 3, 2017
By Chuck Quirmbach
Some small citizen groups in Wisconsin are teaming up in hopes of stopping local proposals for more large-scale farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.
Criste Greening and some neighbors have spent about five years battling a proposed CAFO near their homes outside Wisconsin Rapids. The battle hasn’t been easy, Greening said.
“And because as citizens we have issues and concerns about agriculture, I was termed ‘the radical environmentalist,” Greening said.
Greening told an Environmental Law and Policy Center conference in Madison last week that there’s nothing radical about her, saying she’s as a special education teacher who wants clean water for her three children.
She said small groups like hers are hoping to boost their clout against CAFOs by banding together and calling themselves the Citizens Water Coalition of Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, farmers have organizations such as the Dairy Business Association, which says it tries to ensure dairy farms of all sizes have the support they need to thrive in the state’s economy, communities and food chain.
There are 269 permitted CAFOs in Wisconsin, 252 of those belong to dairy operations according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources statistics.