The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, in partnership with the Waupaca County Land and Water Conservation Department and several northeast Wisconsin counties, entered an agreement to launch the Upper Fox-Wolf Demonstration Farm Network.

The partnership will support a network of farms that will demonstrate the best conservation practices to reduce phosphorus entering the Great Lakes basin, according to a news release.

Also involved in the partnership are the counties of Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano and Winnebago, as well as the Green Lake Association.

This is the fourth demonstration farm network in Wisconsin that NRCS has collaborated with conservation partners to establish.

“Through this collaboration and funding, we can publicly highlight the most effective conservation systems that have the greatest environmental and economic benefit,” said Angela Biggs, USDA NRCS state conservationist for Wisconsin.

Brian Haase, director of the Waupaca County Land and Water Conservation Department, said, “Participating farms will demonstrate the effectiveness and adaptability of conservation practice systems that reduce erosion, sedimentation and nonpoint source pollution. The network will also provide education and technology transfer opportunities for the public.”

The new Upper Fox-Wolf Demonstration Farms include:

• Hintz Farms, Matt and Sara Hintz, of Amherst

• Gehrke Family Farms, Rick Gehrke, of Omro

• Albright Brothers, Jamie Albright, of Omro

• Deta J Farms, Dave and Dusty Schultz, of Van Dyne

• Piney Lawn Acres, Ed Montsma, of Fond du Lac

• Pollack Vu Farm, Chris Pollack, of Ripon

• Zeb Zuehls of Montello

• Erickson Dairy Farm, Randy and Adam Erickson, of Bear Creek

• Tauchen Harmony Valley, the Tauchen family, of Bonduel

• Dan and Ruth Boerst of Manawa.

Objectives of the project include:

• Establish a Demonstration Farm Network in the Upper Fox-Wolf basin to test the effectiveness of current and innovative conservation systems as they pertain to nonpoint pollution control.

• Establish an efficient and effective mechanism to provide the transfer of technology and information on the effectiveness of conservation systems to the end-users, land management agencies, agribusiness and the public.

• Create opportunities for others including resource, environmental and research agencies and agribusiness to test research, technical assistance and program implementation on the demonstration farm sites.

• Create and implement an information/outreach strategy to share information and lessons learned to other natural resource managers, researchers, and stakeholders throughout the Great Lakes basin.

For more information, contact Haase at 715-258-6482 or brian.haase@co.waupaca.wi.us, or contact Matt Otto of the NRCS at 608-662-4422, ext. 245, or matt.otto@wi.usda.gov.