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Farmers Union chapter invites public to Right to Harm screening
Wi Farmers Union

The South Central and Iowa-Grant chapters of Wisconsin Farmers Union will present a free showing of Right to Harm, a film that shows the impact of factory farming on communities throughout the United States. The screening will be at 7pm on Sunday, Feb. 16 at Brix Cider, 119 S. 2nd St., Mt. Horeb.

Through the riveting stories of five rural communicates, Right to Harm exposes the devastating public health impact that factory farming has on many disadvantaged citizens across the country. Filmed across the U.S., the documentary chronicles issues arising around industrial animal agriculture. Fed up with lack of regulation, these disenfranchised citizens band together to demand justice from their legislators.

The film features WFU members Mary Dougherty and Lynn Utesch, who share their experiences as champions of conservation and family farms. Also featured is agricultural economist John Ikerd, who abandoned industry beliefs after a 14-year career as a livestock marketing specialist. After the farm crisis of the 1980s he realized, “The farmers who were in the biggest trouble, were the ones doing the things we so-called experts were telling them to do.”

At the 89th WFU State Convention Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Rothschild, members of the grassroots family farm organization set Oversight of Large Livestock Facilities and Concentration in the Agriculture Industry as two special orders of business for 2020.

“State standards under ATCP 51 regarding acceptance, regulation, and enforcement of CAFOs have failed to enable towns and counties to protect their people, land, water, and health,” said WFU Executive Director Julie Keown-Bomar. “Our members have shown a clear desire to educate other farmers and citizens around this issue and to restore local control to communities. We recognize that there are CAFOs that are family-scale farms, and they are not a target of this film. Instead it looks at the extremely large, industrial scale model that is sweeping the nation and threatening our natural resources, as well as the livelihood of the family farm.”

Filmmakers Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher skillfully weave together five stories that span eight states from the Southwest to the Midwest to the Eastern Shore. Farmers, mothers, scientists and politicians share intimate stories of how their lives were forever changed by factory farming. Right to Harm is an enlightening exploration that questions whether citizens are entitled to clean air and water, while examining the political issues that stand in the way of nationwide reform.

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