Factory farming operations have swallowed up much of the U.S. farming economy, and independent farmers warn that we’re not prepared for the future they have in store for us.
A proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Burnett County, Wisconsin, is slated to house 26,000 hogs and produce millions of gallons of liquid manure every year. Residents fear the irreparable damage an operation of that size could do to their air, land, and waterways, as well as to their property values and the local economy, and many fear there’s nothing they can do to stop it.
As part of TRNN’s special collaboration with In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez traveled with Cameron Granadino (TRNN) and Hannah Faris (In These Times) to Burnett County and neighboring Polk County to speak with farmers and residents in the area about their underreported struggle to protect their communities from the powerful and well-funded factory farming industry.
In this interview, we speak with Polk County hay farmer Lisa Doerr about how her farm would be impacted by the proposed “hog factory,” which she fears will be the first of many in the area. We also discuss the David-and-Goliath battle Doerr and residents in her county have been waging to halt, research, and regulate the CAFO before it’s too late.