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Save the Bay: Demo Farms are Improving the Health of Wisconsin Watersheds

Save the Bay FY22
























MADISON, Wis., August 19, 2022 More than 70 farmers, landowners and partners attended a Save the Bay event, held at Neighborhood Dairy, a demonstration farm owned by Mark and Joe Van Asten. The event was held to recognize the 33 farms that participate in the six demonstration farm networks in Wisconsin and their contributions in expanding the advocacy of conservation farming practices. Demonstration farms play an important role in the adoption of conservation farming practices in Wisconsin. Funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), Demonstration Farm Networks demonstrate the best, leading-edge conservation practices to reduce phosphorus and sediment from entering the Great Lakes.

Dairy and grain producers from surrounding demonstration farms, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) officials, conservationists and University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension staff, shared remarks on the cutting-edge farming practices that Northeast Wisconsin farmers employ. Whitney Prestby, Natural Resources Educator and Outreach Specialist for Fox Demo Farms with UW-Madison, Division of Extension, provided highlights from the recently completed Fox Demo Farms Impact Evaluation Report.

Acting State Conservationist for NRCS Wisconsin, Jeff Vander Wilt and NRCS Demonstration Farms Field Coordinator, Barry Bubolz both made brief comments about the demonstration farm successes and potential to do more through the partnership. They also thanked the demonstration farmers for their efforts and positive impacts they have made.

On June 14th, 2022, Congressman Gallagher introduced a bipartisan resolution, alongside Congressman Ron Kind, highlighting the innovation of Wisconsin demonstration farmers. The resolution was written to acknowledge and promote “the role of demonstration farm networks in expanding the adoption of conservation farming practices that improve the health of watersheds and agricultural lands.”

Save the Bay is a Northeast Wisconsin collaborative initiative in which agriculture, academia, industry, government and nonprofit leaders identify, share and promote conservation practices to reduce phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment flowing into the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

Save the Bay hosts field days to share information on agriculture conservation practices throughout the Green Bay and Lake Michigan watersheds. Visit the Wisconsin NRCS Great Lakes Restoration Initiative webpage to learn more about all six Demonstration Farm Networks. For more information about the technical and financial assistance NRCS provides to producers and landowners for water quality improvement, visit www.wi.nrcs.usda.gov.

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