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WI Ag Groups: Proposed ATCP 51 Changes 'Harmful' to Farmers
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/17/2019

A coalition of Wisconsin farm groups are calling on the state's citizen-based agriculture board to reject proposed changes to ATCP 51, which is the legislative policy that sets standards and procedures local governments must follow if they require permits for new or expanding livestock operations. During a press conference at the State Capitol on Monday, the organizations stressed that the revisions would harm or destroy many farm operations, along with allied businesses that depend on production agriculture to survive.

"The negative impacts of the proposed rule revisions--which will without a doubt stymie further growth of livestock agriculture in Wisconsin--will be felt not just by livestock producers," the group said in a joint statement. "Left unchanged, this proposed rule could negatively affect hundreds of thousands of jobs in this state."

In July, the DATCP board unanimously approved the draft of ATCP 51 changes, which were first implemented 13 years ago to give farmers the legal right to expand under uniform guidelines. That same panel is scheduled to review public comments on the proposed revision at its September 19 meeting.

Some of the groups' objections and concerns include shifting manure spreading setbacks from property lines, inconsistent nutrient management standards and undefined delegation of monitoring authority to local governments.

Meanwhile, members of the coalition also feel the changes were drafted by DATCP staff without the input of stakeholders from Wisconsin's livestock sector.

Organizations opposing the changes include Cooperative Network, Dairy Business Association, Edge Dairy Cooperative, FS GROWMARK, Wisconsin Association of Professional Agricultural Consultants, Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Wisconsin Dairy Alliance, Wisconsin Dairy Products Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Wisconsin Pork Association.

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