The St. Croix watershed towns of Trade Lake and Eureka joined Laketown on March 10 in passing their version of the Large Livestock Town Partnership ordinance.
Six towns formed the Partnership in 2021 after corporate hog factories began efforts to move into the St. Croix River watershed in northwestern Wisconsin. Minnesota and Iowa hog factories are fleeing the “Pig Belt” in search of clean areas as it becomes difficult to keep herds healthy. Top swine veterinarians recommend moving herds as Pig Belt soils, buildings and air become inundated with deadly pathogens.
The Partnership’s goal is to share the expertise and expenses needed to develop the strongest ordinance possible to protect local public health and property values.
The six towns include Bone Lake, Eureka, Laketown, Luck and Sterling in Polk County and Trade Lake in Burnett County. Three town chairs, a supervisor and two citizens serve on a committee. A team of experts, including an environmental engineer, virologist, soil science Ph.D., lawyers and data specialists provided the specialized knowledge needed to produce a model ordinance. The ordinance includes research specific to each town and the livestock industry generally. Each town has customized the model to fit their circumstances.
“We are so proud of these town leaders for stepping up to protect their communities,” said Lisa Doerr, who chaired the committee. “We look forward to working with the other three towns in the coming months.”
Lisa Doerr is a Polk County farmer.