Let’s suppose that a new industry wants to set up shop in Kewaunee County with the intent to pollute the environment by producing more waste than product; lower property values by dumping its toxic waste over more than half of the county; and degrade the social and economic fabric of the community by creating an environment that repels new businesses and tourists and offends those who call this home. Oh, by the way, they want the government to pay them to assure profitability. What are the odds that industry could even get off the ground? Then why do we allow the industrial agriculture industry the opportunity to do business here?
Last week Channel 5, WFRV TV, aired a report on the proposed 13 million gallon manure storage pit planned for construction by Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy west of Kewaunee on County Rd. F. The photo below shows its location and scale. On one hand you like to see factory farms take responsible action for adequate manure storage capacity. On the other hand, by placing the pit as close as 200 feet to existing homes you have to wonder WHY? Such arrogance only fuels the growing disgust and anger by rural residents toward CAFOs. Furthermore, when decisions are made that allow only a few to profit at the expense of so many others, you wonder how the permitting process could have gotten this far.
Many Kewaunee County businesses stay profitable by providing good products, good services and good value. Successful businesses also contribute positively to community development. It’s increasingly difficult to find value in the products marketed by huge dairy CAFOs. Government subsidies provide a monetary cushion that allows CAFOs to continue doing business. Plus they are expanding at an alarming rate and scale. CAFOs are ruining the quality of the environment, the quality of life and denying people an opportunity to profit from their investments in land and houses by driving down property values.
Kewaunee Cares encourages you to let your state law makers, the Department of Natural Resources, and local government know that Kewaunee County is not a designated dumping ground for industrial agriculture. It’s time for us to demand responsible action from our county’s largest industry and our governing bodies.