Residents of three rural counties in Western Wisconsin are fighting the construction of two factory hog farms that will do irreparable damage to their communities. Throughout July, we will be covering their struggle.
"No CAFOs" lawn sign in Crawford County, Wisconsin. Photo taken by Cameron Granadino on June 8, 2021 for The Real News
There is a battle happening in rural America: Across the country, rural farming communities are struggling to combat the relentless onslaught of Big Ag and the factory farming industry. With help from the federal and state governments, industrial farming and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have colonized greater swathes of rural areas, upending what remains of the independent farming economy and polluting the air, land, and waterways.
Throughout the month of July, as part of their investigative series “The Wisconsin Idea,” TRNN is teaming up with In These Times magazine to bring you in-depth coverage from three rural counties in Western Wisconsin (Burnett, Polk, and Crawford) where farmers and other community members have been engaged in a tireless battle to halt construction of two factory hog CAFOs that they fear will do irreparable damage to their communities.
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A big fight in small-town Wisconsin
by Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network June 25, 2021
Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.