Four listening sessions are scheduled to gather comments on what farmers, rural landowners, government officials and others think about the state’s rule related to the expansion or establishment of larger livestock operations.

“The Livestock Facility Siting rule, also known as ATCP 51, became effective in 2006. The primary purpose of the rule is to establish state standards that local governments must follow when they issue a permit or license for a new or expanded livestock operation,” said Richard Castelnuovo, land and water resources section chief with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). “Our department is required to evaluate the rule after four years. These listening sessions are part of the evaluation process.”

The evaluation will focus primarily on state standards related to setbacks, odor and air emissions, manure and nutrient management, waste storage facilities, and runoff management.

“While we will accept comments on other aspects of the siting rule, we will focus on the state standards within the rule,” Castelnuovo explained. “We are aware that there are a number of concerns that fall outside the scope of our rule but that may need to be addressed through other means such as another agency’s rule or other legislation.”

The state agriculture department will hold four listening sessions to gather the diverse viewpoints about the siting rule.

Each session is set for 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Madison: Thursday, Feb. 18, DATCP, 2811 Agriculture Drive, Board Room 
  • Eau Claire: Tuesday, Feb. 23, Town of Washington Town Hall, 5750 Old Town Hall Road
  • Oshkosh: Tuesday, March 2, Winnebago County UW-Extension,  J.P. Coughlin Building, Center, 625 E. County Road Y, Rooms A&B
  • Wausau: Wednesday, March 3, Marathon County UW-Extension, 212 River Drive

At the start of each session, staff will provide a short presentation on the current livestock siting permit process and ATCP 51. Attendees who complete an appearance card will have opportunity to share their comments in writing or verbally.

For those who cannot attend the sessions, written comments can be sent to the department and they carry the same weight as comments provided at the listening sessions. Send comments to Mike Murray by March 10. Comments can be sent via email to, faxed to (608) 224-4615 or mailed to DATCP, Attention: Mike Murray, P.O. Box 8911, Madison WI 53708-8911. 

“Once we have gathered the comments from farmers, local government, rural residents and others, we will present a summary of the comments and a plan of action to our Board.  We will identify the “next steps” in the rule review process which could possibly include opening the rule for revisions if we find that is needed,” said Mike Murray, the DATCP siting program manager.

The summary and plan will be presented to the DATCP Board at their May meeting.  A date has not yet been set.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection