Madison Bushman


Wisconsin has earned the nickname America’s Dairyland. While farming has maintained its popularity through the decades, the farms have changed. Small family farms were replaced by large factory farms called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). CAFOs benefit society by making meat and dairy cheaper. However, the factory farms are major polluters and nuisance producers, so the laws and regulations need to be tightened to hold CAFOs accountable.

This Comment explores how CAFOs rose to dominance due to Wisconsin’s lenient Right to Farm (RTF) law and the potential solutions to the problems from CAFOs. This Comment begins by discussing the history of the RTF law and the growth of CAFOs in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Legislature enacted the RTF, which gave farmers protection from frivolous lawsuits. This enactment likely helped the large farms, called CAFOs, to take over the countryside. Then, the Comment shifts focus to the emerging problems from CAFOs due to Wisconsin’s inadequate regulations and concludes by proposing potential solutions to the various problems presented by CAFOs.