Zach Raff speaks about the economic impact of CAFOs

On May 12, 2021 Zach Raff, Assistant Professor of Economics, UW-Stout, provided an overview of CAFOs and Water Quality in Wisconsin to the Environmental Action Team of Health Dunn Right. Over the past 30 years, livestock operations in Wisconsin – primarily dairies – have become more and more concentrated. This concentration of the industry has led to the proliferation of CAFOs in the state, which provide operational cost savings but are associated with several forms of external costs, e.g., nonpoint source runoff. He discussed the past, present, and future of the livestock industry in Wisconsin and the effects on surface water quality from the rise in CAFOs over the past 30 years in the state, while focusing on the economic implications and mechanisms behind the estimated impacts. He also provided policy recommendations to better control these external costs.


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