• Hogs in a farm


By Virginia Kirsch

Badgerwood LLC wants to build and operate a 26,000 hog factory-farm in Eileen Township of Bayfield County. Badgerwood LLC is from the Reicks View Farms in Iowa. Why choose such an ecologically delicate area close to Lake Superior?

Yard Sign with no CAFO SignPerhaps the plan includes exporting animals from the Great Lakes by rail to British Columbia and then by ship to China. This long journey sounds like cruel treatment!

The proposed hog factory farm is 8 miles from Lake Superior. The proposed factory farm is in the Fish Creek Watershed, which contains outstanding resource waters. Lake Superior holds 10 percent of the world’s fresh water.

The Ashland Municipal Water Utility depends on this area to provide clean drinking water to the City of Ashland.Manure Spreader

This proposed CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) will produce large amounts of manure which will pollute Fish Creek, the Chequamegon Bay and Lake Superior. There will be increased nutrients, pathogens and agricultural run-off in the water.

The Bayfield County Board voted 8 to 5 to adopt a one-year moratorium on all facilities with over 1000 animal units. A study committee consisting of board members and community people will be created to study this proposal.

An EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) was requested and will be done. This study looks beyond the confines of a factory farm mindset which looks for profit and efficiency. The EIS looks at the location, facilities and all the government approvals required.

The EIS identifies major issues as well as reasonable alternatives to the proposed project.

The EIs identifies the effects on archeological, historic, scenic and recreational resources and ecologically critical areas.

northern-wisconsin-lake-sunset1-xsIn June hundreds of people gathered in the Big Top Chautauqua outside of Bayfield. They learned strategies to stop this CAFO. Stopping this CAFO is a huge task and will need strong local community support.

Sarah Lloyd (the Farmers Union Special Projects Coordinator) led the program. She spoke of economic and social structures that support family farms and rural communities.

Sarah Lloyd called for sustainable farming which includes these five points:

  • A structure that supports economic democracy.
  • More farms and farmers on the land, not fewer.
  • Reduced concentration in the market.
  • Transparent value chains that value all in the system and create reasonable returns for everyoneWisconsin Farmers Union
  • Farm systems that support ecological systems, not create risks.
  • This proposal has sparked lots of protest. Check out the Internet for many more websites about the proposal.
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