On Nov. 17, the Town of Luck Board unanimously passed the “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Ordinance.” Wisconsin Dairy Alliance and Venture Dairy Cooperative describe the ordinance as unlawful and extremely anti-farming.
The two dairy groups joined Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to submit testimony opposing the ordinance. The groups note that the ordinance is almost identical to the CAFO ordinance enacted in the town of Laketown which is now subject to litigation brought by the WMC Litigation Center on behalf of local farmers.
“Town boards are taking the Laketown ordinance and using it as a template to enact the same unlawful, anti-agriculture ordinances on their farmers,” says Cindy Leitner, president of Wisconsin Dairy Alliance. “We’ve tried to combat the anti-farming activist narrative by presenting facts and participating in numerous public hearings, just to be ignored. Enough is enough. That is why we worked closely with the WMC Litigation Center to challenge this exact type of ordinance.”
Kim Bremmer, executive director of Venture Dairy Cooperative, says this type of policy ensures that no farm will be able to grow.
“Eliminating a business plan option for generational family farms, and negatively affecting the future value of their equity, which is often times their retirement plan, is unfair to your local farmers,” Bremmer says. “Piling on a parallel regulatory scheme alongside the State’s makes expansion out of the question. So, if the goal of this Board is to tell farmers to “get out” if their business plan is to grow and expand, then tell us that that is your goal. Be clear about your intention as it relates to agriculture so your farmer-constituents know where you stand.”
She encourages members and farmers to stay alert as to what is occurring at their town board and reach out to VDC or WDA with concerns.
The Town of Luck will have to work to create an application process for the ordinance. VDC and WDA will continue to monitor these ordinances.