Wisconsin DNR’s former CAFO cop: “Landspreading of manure is cheap, medieval and deadly”

“How loudly must the alarm bell ring before we realize that landspreading of manure is cheap, medieval and deadly?” – Gordon Stevenson

Photo credit: Richard Casey

I just got done reading “Former DNR water chief calls manure a threat to rural health” from The Country Today. The writing found within isn’t exactly award winning but given that I remember The Country Today as being a pro-conventional ag. newspaper, I was shocked and a little thrilled that it covered this AT ALL.

This article captures statements from a speech delivered by former DNR chief of runoff management Gordon Stevenson at a recent forum on rural health in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

He said
* untreated animal waste is “public enemy number one”

* the program to regulate concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s) is too “meek and mild to be effective”

* there is zero enforcement of manure handling regulations in the DNR

* CAFOs have maxed out on what they can do in Brown, Kewaunee, Fond du Lac counties and the Central Sands and will now spread into “other major vulnerable landscapes”

* outbreaks of illness in Wisconsin have been traced to pathogens from landspread manure [Note – Wisconsin’s DATCP now promotes aerosol application of manure. More on that to be found at “What we currently know about the practice of Spray Irrigation of Manure“.]

To get an idea how just how big and widespread factory dairy farms are in Wisconsin, take a quick look at this
interactive WI dairy CAFO map from WisconsinWatch.org.

If CAFOs aren’t your problem now, and you live in rural Wisconsin, consider yourself fortunate.

Others who also spoke at the Nov. 16th event:
Jeanne Hewitt, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Children’s Environmental Health Sciences Core Center;
Keeve Nachman from the Center for a Livable Future, John Hopkins University;
John Ikerk, professor emeritus in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri and outspoken advocate for sustainable agriculture,
Steve Roach from the Food Animal Concerns Trust

The event was sponsored by Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin and Kewaunee Cares with support from Door County Environmental Council, Door Property Owenrs, LNRP, and
Wisconsin Voices

Speaker/organization info comes from an October announcement article on the forum. This is a screenshot of that I lifted from google cache. It appears that the original was deleted from the net..

Backup screenshot of the article “Former DNR water chief calls manure a threat to rural health”. Just in case.


One thought on “Wisconsin DNR’s former CAFO cop: “Landspreading of manure is cheap, medieval and deadly”

  1. I remember a few years ago, during the debate over the CAFO west of Fond du Lac, I calculated the thickness of the manure that was to be disposed of from this site. The statement said they were going to discharge the manure within a 10 mile radius of the farm. The volume of manure was something like 41 million gallons per year. This equates to a 1/8″ thick veneer of manure over the entire area. Take out roads, towns and residential property and the thickness only grows.

    Sounds like the perfect place to raise a family.

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