Finalists announced for first water quality award

Lake Winnebago Quality Improvement Association
Lake Winnebago Quality Improvement Association of Fond du Lac County


FOND DU LAC - The Lake Winnebago Quality Improvement Association has announced Ketter family's Milbridge Dairy, Park Ridge Organics, the David Burbach Farm and Lori and Gary Kraus' K-Boss Farms as the four finalists in the 2016 Mathias/Lesczynski Water Quality Award for Fond du Lac County farm producers.

The Mathias/Lesczynski Water Quality Award recognizes farm management practices that help protect surface water from runoff of sediments, nutrients and chemicals into rivers, streams and especially Lake Winnebago. Good farm management practices are an important and effective way of improving surface and ground water quality.

The Ketter family owns and operates the Milbridge Dairy on Elm Road in the Township of Marshfield. Conservation management on the farm includes planting winter rye as a cover crop to prevent soil erosion, followed in spring with no-till practices for planting corn. As good stewards of the land, the Ketters maintain a nutrient management program with County Vision Co-Operative.

Park Ridge Organics, located along the ledge on U.S. 151 in the Town of Taycheedah, is owned and operated by Robyn Calvey as a U.S.D.A. Certified Organic Vegetable Farm. Conservation responsibilities are shared by the farm’s field production Manager Jeff Faust. Each year, Park Ridge Organics controls sediment erosion and chemical runoff by leaving crop residue on the soil. This practice also involves a tilling schedule that matches the decomposition rate of plant types.

The David Burbach Farm, located on County B in the Town of Oakfield, was acquired in 1968 by David Burbach. In 1972, Burbach began construction of the farm’s first grassed waterway. Conservation management practices continue on his farm, which now has 7,800 linear feet of grassed waterways and 3,300 linear feet of diversion structures. Two sediment control basins have been constructed, and 40 acres of the farm are in the Conservation Reserve Program to protect selected portions of the waterway from fertilizer, sediment and chemical runoff.

Lori and Gary Kraus operate their dairy and cash crop farm, K-Boss Farms, near St. Cloud in Forest Township. Since 2008, K-Boss Farms has continued to use minimum tillage practices with many positive results, including an increase in soil organic matter, which helps hold in moisture and has reduced the need to pick stones after planting. In addition, soil compaction is reduced, along with fuel consumption, due to fewer trips across the fields. Through the installation of a 2-million gallon manure storage facility, more efficient use of the nutrients by spreading during the non-growing season is provided.

For additional information, visit the Lake Winnebago Quality Improvement Association’s website at