A self-dubbed “loose coalition” of environmentalists, farmers and outdoor groups are hoping to tighten up their efforts as they gather for the first ever Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network forum in Madison.
The state’s favorable policy toward factory farming – at the expense of more “sustainable operations – will be discussed says Edie Ehlert of the Network’s steering committee. She calls it a “bi-partisan” issue stemming from the Livestock Siting Law of 2006 under the Doyle administration. Ehlert adds the Walker administration is speeding up processing of permits rather than looking at potential impacts from each application.
Ehlert emphasizes the forum is about participation where everyone is free to discuss ideas.
The Wisconsin Forum on Rural and Urban Agriculture at UW-Madison kicks off tonight with keynote speaker John Ikerd, an agricultural economist from the University of Missouri. The gathering runs through Saturday.
AUDIO: Brian Moon reports