I recently read a Facebook post from a distraught Wisconsin farmer who
correctly observed many are quick to lay blame when there is a spill
of manure. Yet the recent 3.7 million gallons of raw sewage (human
waste) that “leaked” into the Wisconsin River near Wausau was barely
addressed in the media or in the forum of public opinion.
As a resident of Saratoga who has been fighting the siting of the
proposed Golden Sands Dairy in an effort to preserve our community’s
water from any sort of contamination, I’m surprised we didn’t hear
more about the human waste coming downstream in the Wisconsin River as
a result of an emergency release from a blocked utility pipe. Raw
sewage is just that; it can be toxic to anything downstream.
As a close observer and protector of our natural resources, I am
concerned that the blame focused on one industry and the lack of
response to another similar type of toxic spill sends a message that
one is more or less impactful than the other. We must be mindful in
print and electronic media that to focus blame for pollution on the
agriculture industry without assessing others with an equally critical
eye is inherently wrong and harmful to the agriculture industry’s
image as a whole.
For the sake of Wisconsin’s Dairyland, look for good things to say
about agriculture and encourage open discussion with farms of all
sizes. We need to work together to protect our water. Clean water, is
an inalienable right.