Former Wisconsin state conservationist Pat Leavenworth will be the guest speaker at the 5th annual barn dance to be held on Saturday evening, Sept. 21, at the Klessig family's Saxon Homestead Farm, 15621 S. Union Road, in southeast Manitowoc County.
In a "Chautaqua-in-the-Tent" presentation, Leavenworth will discuss the link between land and water from the perspective of her 33 years with the Natural Resources Conservation Service - the last 18 of them as the director of the Wisconsin arm of the federal agency.
Leavenworth's career with the NRCS spanned five different federal Farm Bills.
She focused on creating partnerships with private landowners for the sake of restoring wetlands, improving wildlife habitat, addressing resource concerns on individual farms, and making the best use of existing natural resources while preserving farmland.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently honored Leavenworth for her outreach efforts with Tribal Nations and similar projects.
In addition, the Wisconsin Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society presented her with its 2013 outstanding individual award as a Friend of Conservation.
A new feature at this year's barn dance will be a menu based on locally sourced foods and prepared by members of the Culinary Institute at nearby Lakeshore Technical College.
The lead sponsor for the meal will be the Livestock Improvement Corporation, a New Zealand livestock genetics cooperative, which is expanding in the United States market.
Alcoholic and other beverages will be furnished by the Trout Springs Winery of Wayside, the 3 Sheeps Brewery of Sheboygan, and the Terra Verde coffeehouse of Chilton.
Musical entertainment will be provided by the Buffalo Stomp band from the Fox Cities area. Attendance prizes will be awarded and raffle games will be played.
Proceeds from the barn dance will be shared by the three members of the Partnering for Progress coalition. They are the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, and the Gathering Waters Conservancy.
Ticket prices remain at $85 for couples, $50 for individuals, and $20 for students. To obtain tickets, call Jim Kettler at 920-304-1919 or send an e-mail to jim@LNRP.org.