A proposed concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Burnett County, Wisconsin, is slated to house 26,000 hogs and produce millions of gallons of liquid manure every year. Residents fear the irreparable damage a facility of that size could do to their air, land, and waterways, as well as to their property values and the local economy. But a diverse coalition of farmers, community members, and environmental advocates are fighting back to protect their homes, their ways of life, and what remains of the independent farming economy. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) traveled to Burnett County over the summer to speak with residents about their concerns and about their struggles against Big Agriculture and the factory farming industry.

In this interview, Max talks with local farmer and beekeeper Kristy Lynn Allen about the damage the industrialization and corporate consolidation of farming has done to agriculture in general, and about the damage the new CAFO would do specifically to farmers like her. Allen is the founder of The Beez Kneez, LLC, and serves as president of the local chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Additional links/info below…

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive freemusicarchive.org):
Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”

Maximillian Alvarez

Editor-in-Chief

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.
 
Email: max@therealnews.com
 
Follow: @maximillian_alv