Conservation on Tap – December 6, 7:00 pm at The Historic Fortney in Viroqua


Portrait of Peter Allen in T-shirt and cap on a sunny day with hill and barn in background

Peter Allen of Mastodon Valley Farm will be presenting “Becoming Keystone: Reintegrate to Regenerate” as the next presenter in our winter Conservation on Tap series on Tuesday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m., at The Historic Fortney, at 100 N. Main St. in Viroqua.

Peter will discuss how indigenous cultures worldwide have embraced their role as keystone species, creating healthy ecosystems as the basis for their sustenance and livelihoods. In our times, it is critical that we remember how to take responsibility for our role as keystone, reintegrating into Nature to restore biologically diverse, ecologically functional, and agriculturally productive ecosystems. Becoming keystone requires both engaging in specific activities that impact the land and an entire paradigm shift on how we think about and understand ourselves and our relations.

Peter is an ecologist-turned-farmer that owns and operates Mastodon Valley Farm, a 220-acre regenerative farm in Viola where he has planted thousands of fruit and nut trees and grazes cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry across their fertile valleys, steep hillsides, and restored native tallgrass prairie, producing nutrient-dense meats that his farm sells in their meat CSA. He also built a traditional timber-framed house with the logs he hauled and milled on the farm where he and his wife Maureen have a busy homestead homeschooling their kids, gardening, milking a cow, and producing and preserving everything they need to thrive through the long Wisconsin winters. Peter combines his background with over a decade researching and teaching ecology, restoration, and complexity science in the University, together with a decade of running a regenerative farm to provide unique and effective educational and consulting opportunities, helping people design, build, and manage diverse, ecologically functional, and economically profitable agroecosystems.

For more information, email us at or call 608-637-3615.


Harvesting Seed from Prairie STRIPS


Man in blue tractor pulling a red combine that is harvesting prairie seed in the fall

Native prairie STRIPS (Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) aren’t just good for conservation, they can be a revenue source as well!  This is Dave Van Dyke, a farmer in the Bad Axe watershed, harvesting a five-year-old prairie STRIP.  The native seed is used for other STRIPS on his farm as well as sold for planting new STRIPS in the area.

This native prairie STRIP has been filtering water, reducing runoff, and increasing soil moisture for over five years now.  The citrus-y smell of the 45+ native plants being harvested is fantastic, and even this late in the year several different bee species could be seen on some of the remaining flowering plants.  This seed will also be used to plant other native prairies and STRIPS in the area.

See the combine in action here!

T-shirt with image of Kickapoo watershed on the frontConnect to Protect Your Watershed!

These shirts make ideal gifts!  They were designed by local artists and depict local watersheds.  They are 100% organic cotton!

Now available in Women’s styles as well!

Visit our online shop to take a look at all five of our Valley Stewardship Network Watershed T-shirts!

We’re encouraging everyone to get to know their own watershed and all the people, plants and animals that are a part of it.

We have T-shirts for the Kickapoo, Bad Axe, Tainter Creek, Coon Creek, and West Fork of the Kickapoo watersheds.

Don’t know which watershed you’re in?  Try finding yourself on this map, or contact us at

Explore your watershed

 For maps of specific land parcels, contact us about custom GIS mapping services.