Cap Times: Scott Walker threatens family farms and the environment


It should surprise no one that Walker’s big move regarding rural Wisconsin is an aim to transfer regulatory authority over factory farms from the DNR to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Anyone who knows anything about the environmental impact of factory farms will tell you that the DNR needs to maintain oversight. > Cap Times

Walker proposal to alter large farm regulation alarms environmentalists


After a proposal to study moving more regulatory authority of large farms from the Department of Natural Resources to the agriculture department was removed from his budget, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is again proposing to make the change. > Cap Times

Dairy group bridles at first ‘targeted’ rule to protect drinking water from manure


After more than a decade of citizen complaints about unsafe drinking water and years of pressure from the federal government, Wisconsin may tighten controls on dairy manure disposal in places where water is most susceptible to health-threatening contamination. The state hasn’t previously created different standards for farmers in different parts of the state. > Wisconsin State Journal

Good news file: Lawmakers restore funding for farm-to-school program


Agriculture groups and rural schools are celebrating lawmakers’ decision to continue funding for the state’s farm-to-school program. Gov. Walker’s budget proposal would have cut $66,400 allocated in previous budgets for the program’s state coordinator. On Thursday, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted to restore that funding in the next state budget. > Wisconsin Public Radio

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

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