Farming must evolve to protect lakes -- Charlie Talbert

August 8, 2018

An unmentioned but commonsense response to our Yahar Lakes water problems leaped from the front-page story in Sunday’s State Journal, “Murky Future.”

It’s time to let dairy go. Those gauzy TV ads about our dairy heritage are nostalgic to watch, but we need to move on.

Our evolutionary ancestors -- the ones who didn’t freeze and starve to death, the ones whose DNA we share today -- survived by adapting to changes in their environments and circumstances, not by holding on to their old ways as the glaciers came.

It’s time now for farmers to begin to produce food with a lighter footprint on the environment, that doesn’t pollute our lakes and streams, contaminate our groundwater, degrade our soil, and raise earth’s temperatures on the mammoth scale that dairy does.

Our distant ancestors also survived by cooperating effectively. The subsidies on the federal, state and local levels that currently prop up this industry dinosaur should go instead to helping farmers evolve to more sustainable ways to provide our food. That’s the future.

Charlie Talbert, Monona

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