Like water, news travels downhill (downstate).

News coverage of the Rural Health Dilemma forum held on November 16th is still flowing throughout the state. As long as agricultural practices continue to be the largest contributor to soil, water and air pollution in the state, health concerns will remain a viable topic of discussion. The more people know about the problems facing us now and into the future, the better the chances that public pressure will effect an attitude shift among politicians and the regulatory agencies to find solutions to the rural health dilemma.

An op ed article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel :

Agricultural sector degrading state’s natural resources

It’s been said that there’s three sides to every story — yours, mine and the truth. The truth of Wisconsin’s problems and continued degradation of our natural resources due to the agricultural sector is found on our beaches fouled with algae cladophora, our continued, worsening air quality in the state and at the bottom of our contaminated wells.

While a great debate, which includes the state Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, takes place, the contamination and poisoning of our soil, air and water are occurring throughout the state. In the books, confined animal feeding operations, CAFOs, may be the most-regulated industry, but in reality regulations are the least enforced (“Expert questions dairy farm runoff,” Nov. 30).

Either the numbers for our nutrient managements plans are wrong or self-monitoring doesn’t work. Most likely it’s both. Admitting there is a problem is the first step to recovery.

Nancy L. Utesch


1 Comment

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One response to “Like water, news travels downhill (downstate).

  1. Hank

    The Health Forum held at Stone Harbor was an outstanding educational experience. We are so glad we attended! Public health is inseparable from environmental quality. We’re grateful for all of you at Kewaunee Cares for your dedication to the best interests of all of us, including posterity (who are unable to be here to speak out for sustainable practices that protect their quality of life… soil, groundwater, lakes, streams, fisheries, wildlife, air quality, etc. etc.) Keep up the great work!

    Having worked on water quality and soil stabilization in Kewaunee County several decades ago, I’ve seen the degradation Nancy refers to above. She is spot on! Regulations today can only be described as feckless. They may as well be non existent. The DNR seems a thin shadow of what it was in the ’60’s. This system needs to be fixed… for all our sakes, before it’s too late.


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