VSN is Hiring!! Are you, or someone you know, our next Water Quality Coordinator?
Valley Stewardship Network is growing and are looking for someone to join our staff to help with this workload. We are currently accepting applications for Water Quality Coordinator. Do you like working both outside and inside? Do you like working with volunteer and youth? If you are organized, self-directed, outgoing, energetic, and dedicated to VSN’s mission, we’d like to meet you. To apply for this part-time position, please send a letter of interest and resume to Valley Stewardship Network, c/o Shelly Gradwell-Brenneman, 110 South Main, Viroqua, WI 54665. The position will remain open until it is filled. Please help us share the word.
VSN’s Dr. John Delaney’s article in MOSA’s Organic Cultivator
The winter newsletter for MOSA Organics includes an article by VSN’s Agroecologist, Dr. John Delaney. Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation on Organic Farms discusses the importance of biodiversity in our farming landscapes especially since documented declines in recent decades. The article is filled with the many components and options to promote biodiversity on your farm.
Area farmers taking the lead in conservation and water quality!
Farmers aim to preserve Tainter Creek Watershed; VSN is so proud to be collaborating with this group. Our staff lead, Matt Emslie, Landowner Outreach Coordinator, has been working with the group since last year. The farmer-led watershed council has met numerous times and received their first grant in December, 2017. They are planning to use these funds to increase adoption of cover crops, water testing, and host a series of field days.
Farmer Demonstration and Discussion- February 17th – Westby, WI
Outwinter with Bale Grazing to Improve Soil Health & Fertility. The Wallace Center Pasture Project will host a second discussion and demonstration of the value of outwintering. This time exploring the benefits of bale grazing. Join us to learn about this cost saving practice when compared to drylot feeding. In addition to cost savings, the natural distribution of manure by animals while feeding in pastures helps to improve retention of nutrients, much of which are lost to volatilization, leaching, and runoff in a drylot before manure is removed. See how the effects of pasture and soil health can grow over the years contributing to a healthier bottom line for your farm.
The event will be held 10am-12pm, Saturday, February 17th at S1847 Nestingen Rd. Westby, WI. For more information or to RSVP, please contact John Delaney at 608-637-3615 or email@example.com. Registration deadline is February 14th. Grilled Lunch will be provided.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration deadline is January 12th. Grilled lunch will be provided.
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.