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MADISON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Ozaukee County Land & Water Management Department have entered an agreement to launch a new demonstration farm network in Ozaukee county.

This is the third demonstration farm network in Wisconsin that NRCS has collaborated with conservation partners to establish. The partnership will support a network of farms that will demonstrate the best conservation practices to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Michigan.

This partnership will address the effectiveness of current conservation systems used to reduce nonpoint source pollution. The network will demonstrate to farmers and the general 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.

Funding for this agreement is made available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“Through this collaboration and funding, we can publicly highlight the most effective conservation systems that have the greatest environmental and economic benefit,” says Angela Biggs, USDA NRCS State Conservationist for Wisconsin. “Demonstrations will be conducted to showcase the effectiveness and adaptability of conservation practice systems that reduce erosion, sedimentation and nonpoint source pollution and that also provide education and technology transfer opportunities for the public, farmers, land managers, agribusiness, environmental organizations, natural resources agencies and research entities”, says Andy Holschbach, Director of the Ozaukee County Land & Water Management Department. 

The specific objectives of the project are to:

1. Establish up to four Demonstration Farms within Ozaukee County to test the effectiveness of current and innovative conservation systems as they pertain to nonpoint pollution control in those unique landscapes.

2. Establish an efficient and effective mechanism to provide the transfer of technology and information on the effectiveness of conservation systems to the end-users, land management agencies, agribusiness and the public.

3. Create opportunities for others including resource, environmental and research agencies and agribusiness to test research, technical assistance and program implementation on the demonstration farm sites.

4. Create and implement an information/outreach strategy to share information and lessons learned to other natural resource managers, researchers, and stakeholders throughout the Great Lakes basin.

For more information, contact Andy Holschbach, Ozaukee County Land & Water Management Department Director, at 262-284-8271, aholschbach@co.ozaukee.wi.us; or Eric Allness, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships, at 608-662-4422 x 246, eric.allness@wi.usda.gov.

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