Two Upcoming Farmer Events- Jan 20, 2018 – in Viroqua and Coon Valley
The first event is A Farmer Breakfast and Conversation- Protecting Our Family Farms. This free breakfast will begin at 8 am at the American Legion Post #138 in Viroqua. We are lucky to have two special speakers in our area- John Ikerd, professor emeritus in Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri and Scott Dye, Regional Representative for SRAP, who will lead a discussion about the future of farming in the face of agricultural challenges. The Driftless region has a long history of family farming. The unique landscape and treasured river and streams are defining aspects of our farming traditions. As farming alternatives are presented as options in this region, this conversation will be an opportunity to ask question and get expert answers from individuals who have studied and seen the effects of these alternatives.We will learn from their expertise and explore how to relate their experiences to our regional farming traditions.
The second farmer event is Outwintering Cattle to Reduce Costs and Improve Crop Yields. The Wallace Center Pasture Project will host a discussion and demonstration of the value of outwintering cattle on crop fields. Winter feed costs are a large proportion of total annual operation costs in livestock systems. Outwintering livestock on crop residues and/or cover crops can be a cost saving practice when compared to drylot feeding. Join us Saturday, January 20th from 10am-12pm at E5930 Spring Coulee Rd. Coon Valley, WI for a discussion and demonstration of the value in outwintering cattle on crop fields. For more information or to RSVP, please contact John Delaney at 608-637-3615 or email@example.com. Registration deadline is January 12th. Grilled lunch will be provided.
Cover Crop Field Day- April 7th at 10 am
An exciting cover crop field day will be held Friday, April 7th at the Swede Knutson Farm near Feryville. Have questions about cover crops? This is a great opportunity to hear how area farmers are finding ways to improve soil, save money, and increase crop yields by using cover crops!
Featured topics demonstrated will include faster and easier methods of establishing cover crops, including, establishing rye after corn grain using air-flow seeding with a side-by-side comparison of incorporating with vertical tillage and not using tillage. Cover crops established in 2016 also include red clover and radish after winter wheat, and aerial fly-over seeding of oats, rye, and radish on standing corn.
Refreshments provided, register today. RSVP by calling Sarah at 608-637-5480.
This field day is sponsored by Vernon and Crawford County LWCD’s, NRCS, UW-Extension, and the National Wildlife Federation.
Kickapoo Landowners: Conservation Options for Your Land and Programs to fund this work!
March 13th in Gays Mills, WI or March 14th in Viroqua, WI, 6:30 pm
We are all connected and our lands are too. The Kickapoo Boots-on-the-Ground Collaborative, a network of grassroots conservation organizations, focuses on promoting a wide variety of conservation practices that will conserve soil and reduce runoff on your land and in your watershed. Our staff from Southwest Badger RC&D, the Kickapoo Grazing Initiative and Valley Stewardship Network will evaluate the resources on your land and help you access programs you need to make it happen. We have information about the new NRCS Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) funding within the Kickapoo as well as general Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding. Staff from NRCS will be attending both events. Speakers will include:
- John Delaney, Valley Stewardship Network: Tallgrass prairie strips for water/nutrient retention and biodiversity
- Cynthia Olmstead, Kickapoo Grazing Initiative: Managed grazing for conservation—an ecologically and economically viable option for Kickapoo landowners
- Neil Slifka for Brandon Bleuer, SW Badger RC&D: You Are the Key to Oak Restoration
- Neil Slifka, SW Badger RC&D: Invasive Species Management in the Driftless
There will be two opportunities to attend:
- Monday, March 13th (6:30-8:00 pm) New Gays Mills Community Center, 16381 Wisconsin Hwy 131, Gays MIlls
- Tuesday, March 14th (6:30-8:00 pm) Viroqua American Legion, 120 N Rusk Ave, Viroqua
Questions or RSVP to Cynthia Olmstead 608-606-6022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations, Water Action Volunteers!
We are happy to share the news that Valley Stewardship Network and our Water Action Volunteers (WAV) have recently been recognized with several awards from The University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. These awards recognize groups and individuals for work leading to increased participation in stream monitoring, collecting valuable stream data, and sharing knowledge of stream monitoring with others. Read the full story in our newsletter, Watershed Visions – Spring 2016.
Custom Mapping Services
Our plans for a Mapping Service Center, utilizing the open source software QGIS, will allow landowners to map everything from soils and hydrology to historic land use, elevations, and vegetative cover. Aerial photos will also be part of the menu of spatial data layers. If you have an interest in this fascinating and powerful tool, See our GIS workshop offerings.