Tuesday night brought an incredible victory for farmers in Polk County. A newly-elected Laketown Board voted unanimously to abandon its recently passed anti- CAFO ordinance and decided to no longer defend the ordinance in court.
Wisconsin Dairy Alliance and Venture Dairy Cooperative have worked closely with farmers in the area since the Town began to consider CAFO Moratoria and this ordinance, nearly 5 years ago.
“What happened in Laketown is the perfect demonstration for why farmers have to participate in their local government. Unfortunately, it’s often easy for activists to silence the voice of farmers and intimidate town residents into supporting their agenda. Now, thanks to a handful of brave constituents standing up and getting involved, they are represented by a common-sense, pro-farmer board,” said Kim Bremmer, Executive Director of Venture Dairy Cooperative.
One of those brave farmers who stood up is Sara Byl, who worked closely with VDC and WDA to stand up against the Town Board. Represented free of charge by the WMC Litigation Center, Sara decided enough was enough and filed a lawsuit along with four other farmers to block the anti-CAFO ordinance.
“I was really glad to see our new township board rescind the ordinance tonight. For almost 5 years, we tried to get the old board to listen to us. Instead, they shut the farmers out and only listened to the activists. This was a great win for all of us. It can be done, and Laketown is a good example to never give up,” said Sara Byl.
Now that the Town of Laketown has rescinded the anti-CAFO ordinance, it is likely the case will be dismissed, but the battle will continue in other townships who have passed similar ordinances.
“We are proud to be a part of the team that is finally pushing back at a local level to protect farmers from baseless attacks. We are grateful for the brave farmers who stood up, the community support and the Town Board members who voted to rescind the ordinance, as well as the WMC Litigation Center for its outstanding representation of farmers during this time,” said Cindy Leitner, President of Wisconsin Dairy Alliance.
WDA and VDC will continue to provide updates as we continue to fight back against any local government’s attempt to infringe our member’s Right to Farm.
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