Sixth demonstration farm network established in Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Farmer
Green Bay West Shore Demonstration Farm Network is the sixth demonstration farm network in Wisconsin that NRCS has collaborated with conservation partners to establish.

There's a new demonstration farm network in Wisconsin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and Oconto County Land & Water Conservation Department, in partnership with Marinette and Shawano counties, have entered an agreement to launch a new network, the Green Bay West Shore Demonstration Farm Network.

This is the sixth demonstration farm network in Wisconsin that NRCS has collaborated with conservation partners to establish. According to NRCS officials, the partnership will support a network of farms that will demonstrate the best conservation practices to reduce phosphorus entering the Great Lakes basin. The four farms in the network are located just west of Green Bay.

Funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is being utilized for this effort.   

This partnership will address the effectiveness of current conservation systems used to reduce nonpoint source pollution. The network will demonstrate to farmers and the public that the right combination of traditional conservation practices and other new, innovative technologies functioning on the landscape can produce viable and sustainable economic and environmental benefits.

“Through this collaboration and funding, we can publicly highlight the most effective conservation systems that have the greatest environmental and economic benefit; we’re excited to be partnering to now establish our sixth demonstration farms network,” said Angela Biggs, USDA-NRCS Wisconsin State Conservationist.

The project will also showcase the adoption of environmentally sustainable farming practices by demonstrating their successful use on the four demonstration farms and providing other producers the opportunities to learn and adopt these practices successfully on their farms,” said Ken Dolata, Department Head, Oconto County Land Conservation Department.

Those farms belonging to the new Green Bay West Shore Demonstration Farms include: Mahoney Farms, James Mahoney and family of Suring; Brown Star Farm, Matt Bjelland and family of Gillett; Finger Family Farm, Phil Finger and family of Peshtigo and Wagner Farms, Hank Wagner and family of Oconto Falls.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Establish demonstration farms within the Peshtigo, Oconto and Pensaukee River Watersheds to test new and standard conservation systems in reducing phosphorus and sediment.
  • Establish an efficient mechanism to share this technology and information with farmers, agribusiness, conservation agencies and the public.
  • Create opportunities for others to test their research and program ideas at the demonstration farms.
  • Share information and lessons learned from the Demo Farms throughout the Great Lakes basin.

For more information, contact Ken Dolata, Oconto County Conservationist, at 920-834-7150, ken.dolata@co.oconto.wi.us; or Matt Otto, USDA-NRCS Resource Conservationist, at 608-662-4422 x245, matt.otto@wi.usda.gov.