Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart

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Menomonie Considers Backyard Chickens

Ben Rueter

Last year, Eau Claire's backyard battle to raise chickens within city limits came to an end with the city council rejecting the movement. Now the movement has sprung up again. This time in Menomonie. “It’s the practice of getting back to basics,” said Leah Dunbar, an active supporter and one of the movement leaders. “People have gardens now and they want to know where their food is coming from and they want organic.” Dunbar and many other residents are banding together on Facebook (the group is “Chickens in Menomonie”) to raise awareness for the movement. Menomonie City Councilman Andrew Mercil is actively pushing the issue, as well. He said the reason why chickens aren’t clucking in city limits is because they are considered livestock. “If the people want it, then we should be talking about it,” Mercil said. Dunbar, Mercil, and  supporters on Facebook will continued to collect petition signatures for the change up to February 20, when they brought the issue to the city council to see if they – and the chickens – can break through. The proposal addressed concerns such as noise (roosters won’t be allowed), safety (fencing would be required), and sanitation/odors, items many other communities (including many in Wisconsin) have resolved before ultimately approving it. “They want local, and what’s more local than in your backyard?” Dunbar said.

After their meeting, Menomonie's city council has opted to form a committee to research the proposal.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.