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

dairy-farms

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

farm-to-school

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

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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

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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

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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

Immigrants put America’s Dairyland, Trump in rearview mirror

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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

Trump’s combative trade stance has farm country on red alert

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A sizable majority of rural Americans backed Trump’s presidential bid, drawn to his calls to slash environmental rules, strengthen law enforcement and replace the federal health care law. But last month, many of them struck a sour note after Trump signaled he was edging toward abandoning NAFTA. > Wisconsin State Journal