Trump’s looming landmine in NAFTA negotiations: His base in Wisconsin and other states he won


As we head down the almost certainly unpredictable path toward NAFTA 2.0, there is a potential landmine awaiting President Trump: His base, or at least the economic “muscle” behind that base. In states Trump won, there are significant agricultural interests that will be less than enthused about NAFTA changes that could upset lucrative and well-established markets. > Forbes

Wisconsin manufacturers, farmers and labor unions have much at stake with NAFTA negotiations


Wisconsin manufacturers, farmers and labor unions are closely watching President Trump’s efforts to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico and Canada. The U.S. has never tried to rewrite a major trade agreement, so analysts aren’t sure what will emerge from the talks, but many people in agriculture are concerned about losing what they have. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Let’s take a time out on factory farms


From the Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network: “It’s time to put citizens’ rights before Gov.  Walker’s “open for business” mantra. Our rural communities and family farms are in the crosshairs of an expanding and increasingly powerful large-scale agricultural industry, and the harm CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) cause continues to mount across Wisconsin. > Cap Times

Wisconsin moves to protect groundwater with rules limiting manure spreading


After years of complaints about manure spreading and its potential to harm drinking water – and prodding from environmental groups and rural residents – DNR officials are advancing first-ever rules to limit animal waste on vulnerable soils in 15 eastern Wisconsin counties. Tailoring runoff regulations by region is a first for Wisconsin. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

State scores dairy trifecta — but Wisconsin farmers and residents don’t win


Among the “wins” Wisconsin officials count in the state dairy industry are increased milk production, a perfect string of new CAFO approvals (concentrated animal feeding operations, or “factory farms”), and a doubling of high-capacity wells. But a Kewaunee County Board supervisor asks the farmers if they call these wins. > The Cap Times

Assembly passes plan to help owners of contaminated wells


The Assembly has approved a plan to help replace contaminated wells in places like Kewaunee County, where up to 60 percent of wells contain fecal microbes. The proposal would let municipalities offer low- or no-interest loans to fix or replace wells or septic systems, and increase funding for a replacement grant program. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Immigrants put America’s Dairyland, Trump in rearview mirror


Some Wisconsin dairy farm owners are seeing workers pack up their families and move back to Mexico. One farm owner remarks it’s like “The Grapes of Wrath,” only this time, in reverse: The migrants are leaving a land abundant with economic opportunity for an uncertain future in their homeland. > La Crosse Tribune