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Water is our greatest asset ... we should never lose sight of that

As I write this, the debate during a public hearing on whether there should be a moratorium on expansion of St. Croix County-based concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) continues in front of the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors.

Experts, small farmers, owners of area CAFOs and other interested residents spent a good part of Tuesday’s meeting attempting to convince county supervisors to side with their convictions.

Whether it’s to approve the moratorium or whether to deny the action and move on with the status quo, each of those who made their way to the podium on Tuesday were well-prepared and convincing.

There were those who said that if CAFOs were to be allowed to expand, the water would be at risk. They said St. Croix County’s fractured bedrock would allow easier contamination of the water.

Those who own and work for CAFOs said that the regulations to which they must adhere - something that’s highly regularly tested and monitored - keep their farm operations from contaminating the waters.

While we must understand the importance of farming as business, we must also understand what the clean waters of our county mean to our livelihood, our economy and our future.

The direction of the county board Tuesday will forge the future of this county - for good or bad.

We ask that cool heads prevail and that solutions are found.

For the results of the hearing, visit our website for updates.

Raymond T. Rivard, editor