The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.
Venture Dairy Cooperative (VDC), Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and the Wisconsin Dairy Alliance (WDA), sent a letter to the Town of Peck in Langlade County to express concerns over the Town’s "Implements of Husbandry Ordinance," Ordinance #2021-01, adopted in July. The groups, collectively representing thousands of farmers across Wisconsin, are concerned the ordinance effectively bans farmers from moving manure on town roads and is destructive to the community's rural economy.
According to the ordinance, prior to hauling manure on town roads farmers would need to "post a surety bond of $100,000" with the town for each road used, to cover any possible damage that may occur. This ordinance is not only bad public policy, but it is unlawful. Notably, the ordinance singles out and targets livestock manure hauling only, not other heavy industry that could also be a factor in road impacts.
Farmers comprise a vital and necessary part of the Wisconsin economy, including in the Town of Peck. Farmers need to haul manure to fertilize their fields and to maintain a clean and healthy environment for their animals, employees, and communities. The town's unlawful actions will harm local farmers and likely lead to costly and reputation-damaging litigation.
Venture Dairy Cooperative, as well as Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Wisconsin Dairy Alliance asked the Town of Peck to rescind the ordinance and work with its farming community to come to a mutually beneficial solution.