We’ve done so much and come so far together. We understand that the news that our Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) granted the permits for Roth Feeder Pig to build a new and expanded facility above the Kickapoo Bottoms south of Steuben comes as a disappointment to many. We too are devastated, and it has led us to reconsider many of our strategies.
We are looking at a final permit that fails to consider many potential impacts to the community and local watersheds, but meets the letter of the law, making a legal challenge to the permit fruitless. It is the rules themselves that need changing, if we do not want to see our rural countryside dotted with these operations with few conditions and minimal monitoring.
This is far from the end of this story, however. Crawford County has yet to approve the livestock siting permits, and there will be a public hearing on July 12 from 12:30-2:30pm at the Crawford County Administrative Building.
To register to attend and comment at this hearing via phone or computer, please contact both
or call the County Conservation Dep’t office at 608-326-0272.
This is an important time for our local governments to hear from their constituents on this matter.
Will they rubber-stamp this permit, or will they apply sensible conditions in order to protect public health and welfare considerations that the WDNR overlooked (completeness of permits, odor and air quality, groundwater quantity, property values, road impacts, etc.)? Will they approve every CAFO permit that comes forward, or will they look into enacting proactive standards for operations such as this? We will see.
We have put together talking points on the issues and offer guidance on the topics.
Here’s a link to that list of key concerns and background documentation from the entire WDNR permitting and county moratorium process.
We will need folks to make comments on the various issues with this permit at the county public hearing.
It is time for us to turn back to our most local level of government, our townships, and help create standards that will protect public health and welfare from the influx of industrial agriculture operations being proposed for this area. Every one of our township comprehensive plans holds a beautiful vision of agriculture and a rural landscape in this area, and none mention a future filled with CAFOs. Let us help protect our heritage and build a future for appropriately scaled resilient family farms, using ordinances already pioneered and proven to be effective in Wisconsin.
Please consider working on these efforts with us.