Producer-Led Project Summaries

​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​All Producer-Led Groups funded since 2016

Includes project summaries and links to their websites and facebook pages


1. Bad-Axe Farmer-led Watershed Council​​​​

​​2. Bear Creek/Chippewa Farmer Groundwater Group

​3. Biological Farming Friends

​​4. Buffalo-Trempealeau Farmer ​Network

​5. Buffalo County Conservation Farmers (BCCF)

​​6. Calumet County Agricultural Stewardship Alliance

​​7. ​Cedar Creek Farmers​

​8. Central Wisconsin Farmers' Collaborative (CWFC)

​9. Coon Creek Community Watershed Council

​​10. ​Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil & Healthy Water 

11. Dry Run Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council

​12. Eau Pleine Partnership for Integrated Conservation (EPPIC)​

​​13. Farmers for Lake Country

14. Farmers of the Sugar River​

15. Farmers for Tomorrow​

16. Farmers of Barron County​​

17. Farmers of Mill Creek

18. Farmers of Lemonweir Valley

19. Farmers of the Roch-a-Cri

20. Farmers for the Upper Sugar River (FUSR)

​21. Farmers on the Rock

​​22. Hay River Farmer-Led Watershed Council

​​23. Horse Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council ​

​​24. Jefferson County Soil Health Builders

​​25. ​Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA) 

​​26. Lake Wisconsin Farmer Watershed Council

​27. Ozaukee County Clean Farm Families (CFF)

​​28. Pecatonica Pride​

​29. Peninsula Pride Farms (PPF)​

​​30. Producers of Lake Redstone​

​​31. Red Cedar Conservation Farmers

​32. Rock River Regenerative Graziers

​33. Sauk Soil & Water Improvement Group

​​34. Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers

​35. South Kinni Farmer-Led Watershed Council​

​36. Tainter Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council

​37. The Shell Lake- Yellow River Farmer-Led Watershed Council​​

38. Uplands Watershed Group

3​9. ​​Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County

40. Western Wisconsin Conservation Council (WWCC)

41. Yahara Pride​ Farms (YPF)​




Bad Axe Farmer-Led Watershed Council

Collaborator: Vernon County Land & Water Conservation Department

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: Foster locally led conservation through engaging farmers, businesses and community members to identify and address local natural resource challenges in the Bad Axe Watershed

Mission statement: Demonstrate and implement best practices that improve water quality of the Bad Axe, reduce flooding, reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses and help farms to be profitable


  • Reduce impacts of flooding
  • Improve water quality
  • Increase awareness of conservation farming options
  • Reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses and enhance farm profitability

More about this group: This group has a strong emphasis on organic producers, particularly organic dairies. Their project works on organic no-till and the use of alternative forages for dairy quality. The group is also interested in sustainable woodlot management and erosion and flood control, since many farms in the Driftless region include about half the land as forested and flooding has been a major issue in this part of the state in years past.

Contact: Ben Wojahn, (608) 637-5482,


Bear Creek Chippewa River – Farmers 4 Health

Project title: Reducing nitrate contamination of groundwater through innovative farming practices

Collaborator: Pepin County Land Conservation and Planning Department, UW Extension

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: Healthy soil, healthy farm, healthy community, healthy environment

Mission statement: Learn, Labor, and Lead to achieve our vision

Goals: Learn, implement, and demonstrate innovative farm production methods that build soil health, reduce inputs, and provide clean water on and off the farm.

More about this group: Their focus includes reducing nitrate contamination in groundwater and planting cover crops and pollinator plots. They have partnered with Discovery Farms for a lysimeter project to determine the nutrient loss to groundwater.

Contact: Micheal Travis, (715) 672-5214,


Biological Farmer Friends

Project title: Regenerating soils while drinking small grains

Collaborator: Dane County Land & Water Conservation, UW Extension

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: Promoting a healthy quality of life and sustaining rural economies and environment while having fun

Mission statement: Giving farmers the space, confidence and support to experiment with new livestock and cropping systems

Goals: Building support systems

More about this group: This group focuses on multiple and diverse field scale demonstrations. They are also dedicated to crop diversity, particularly in integrating small grains into farming systems. They partner with the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, consultants and seed dealers to grow data collection activities across their project area.

Contact: Marie Raboin, (608) 228-6324,



Buffalo County Conservation Farmers (BCCF)

Project title: Improving Soil Health and Water Quality Through the Adoption of Conservation Farming

Collaborator: Buffalo County Land Conservation Department, UW Extension

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: Improving water quality, soil health, agricultural productivity and profitability through the adoption of integrated conservation farming practices

Mission statement: Building and strengthening our agricultural community partnerships through enhanced farmer collaboration, education and support; implementing conservation farming practices modeled after local successes that reduce soil erosion, increase nutrient retention and maintain or improve agricultural productivity, resiliency and profitability


  • Determine best management practices to address resource concerns and improve water quality and soil health
  • Control ephemeral erosion and filter runoff from croplands using integrated conservation farming practices
  • Demonstrate and quantify the short and longer term benefits of integrated conservation farming practices by measuring changes in phosphorus runoff and conducting soil health assessments.
  • Demonstrate economic and environmental benefits of diversified crop rotations
  • Explore pathways around the financial barriers for upfront costs of adding rotations or utilizing new farming operational strategies
  • Explore the use of technology and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies to aid in the appropriate mechanical, biological and chemical controls associated with conservation farming practices

More about this group: This group is focused on the cooperation of both conventional and organic farms and the demonstration of practices that fit into the University of Minnesota “Forever Green" model: to provide as much living soil cover possible in the climate and to research moving marginal crop acres to some type of perennial crop that would be less erosive than row crop production.

Contact: Tim Wucherer, (608) 685-6702,


Buffalo-Trempealeau Farmer Network (BTFN)

Project title: Buffalo-Trempealeau Farmer Network Regenerative Agriculture Approach

Collaborator: Pheasants Forever, Inc.

Region: Northwest

Vision statement That current and future generations of farmers are able to produce agriculture commodities that promote the long-term sustainability of the land

Mission statement

The Buffalo Trempealeau Farmer Network is dedicated to encouraging farmers to evaluate their farming systems and implement management practices that reduce the potential for nutrient and soil loss, improve water quality and infiltration, and increase long term sustainability.


  • Demonstrate through replication and refinement cover crop establishment and termination strategies for diverse cover crops to reduce soil erosion, improve nutrient management cycling, and improve nonpoint source surface water quality
  • Establish research plot to quantify the efficiency of nutrients used by the following years crop (corn) and quantifies the associated economics of interseeding, specifically how synthetic nitrogen can be reduced to maximize profitability while protecting resource concerns
  • Demonstrate establishment strategies for prairie STRIPS and provide education on the benefits of the practice
  • Demonstrate the methodology for terminating rye cover crops through rolling and crimping on at least one farm to reduce the need for chemical termination of weedy species
  • Provide outreach and education through video recorded farmer interviews, outreach events, field signs, local radio and the groups Whats App message board 

More about this group: This group works with Pheasants Forever and their Precision Ag and Conservation Program to identify low-productivity acres and find alternative management that promotes crop rotation, perennial cover, and other conservation practices that support watershed health.  The group has also installed two Prairie STRIPS in the watershed.  Additionally they focus on cover crops, looking at establishment and termination methods that work for their area. Demonstration sites highlight interseeding cover crops and rolling/crimping rye.

Contact:  Karl Geske,



Calumet County Agricultural Stewardship Alliance (CCASA)

Project title: Advancement of Nutrient Management Education & Implementation

Collaborator: Calumet County Land and Water Conservation Department, Farmers for Sustainable Food

Region: Northeast

Goals, mission and vision: Calumet County Ag Stewardship Alliance is a nonprofit group of innovative farmers, committed community members and other professional partners dedicated to championing sustainable farming practices that protect water quality and build healthy soil.

Mission statement: Striving to protect and improve soil health and water quality for our community.

Goals: To address key resource concerns in the county such as impaired ground and surface waters while educating producers and the community on how to restore these resources and improve soil health through conservation practices.

We plan to: increase membership and community engagement, increase participants in our cost-share programs, continue our member conservation practice survey to show progress over time, and host field events for members and community to learn and collaborate.

More about this group: They offer incentive programs for planting winter rye and planting into a green cover crop in the spring. Their research includes using cover crops and proper applications of manure to help prevent brown water events and the rise of bacteria and nitrates. They work to improve and protect drinking water for their neighbors and families.

Contact: John VandenBoom, (920) 418-5193,



Cedar Creek Farmers

Project title: Improving Land for Cleaner Waters

Collaborator: Washington County Land and Water Conservation Division

Region: Southeast

Goals, mission and vision: Provide learning opportunities to area farmers and landowners about the benefits of no-till, cover crops and nutrient management related to improving soil health and water quality.

More about this group: This group partners with the City of Cedarburg's Adaptive Management Program to host an informational meeting focusing on phosphorus reduction practices that align with the goals of the city. The group continues to promote the benefits of soil health through no-till, cover crops, nutrient management, riparian buffers, prairie strips and streambank stabilization.

Contact: Paul Sebo, (262) 335-4805,



Central Wisconsin Farmers' Collaborative (CWFC)

Project title: A partnership for healthy and productive working lands

Collaborator: Wisconsin Wetlands Association, UW-Madison, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Region: Northeast

Vision statement: We envision a healthy and productive working landscape in Wisconsin's Central Sands region, achieved through coordinated actions that enhance natural resource quality while simultaneously creating social and economic opportunities for farmers and communities.

Mission statement: To support landscape-scale, producer-led, land and water conservation practices in Wisconsin's Central Sands region. We seek to promote innovative stewardship practices that benefit the watershed, the landscape and the land managers themselves, through collaborative partnerships, meaningful incentive structures, farm-to-farm education programs and other strategic actions.

Goals: Emphasize water quality improvement through the implementation of soil conservation practices, water conservation through the use of irrigation technologies, and education on the use of hydrologic restoration practices to address on-farm and watershed-scale water resource concerns. Specifically:

  • Continue to strengthen collaborative partnerships
  • Refine and begin implementing a work plan that is directly aligned with the strategic plan
  • Add new farmers and participants to the group
  • Enhance knowledge and awareness of the producer led program and incentives available
  • Educate growers and surrounding agricultural community and support implementation of practices which reduce nonpoint source pollution, improve soil quality and control for erosion and flooding
  • Promote and provide educational opportunities to develop adequate surface and groundwater quality and quantity for social, economic and environmental needs
  • Educate growers on the benefits of watershed-scale hydrologic restoration and identify sites to demonstrate practices
  • Support and participate in evapotranspiration and nitrogen reduction research efforts to help guide and advance ongoing nutrient water conservation actions
  • Participate in outreach efforts to increase collaborations and increase communications and knowledge with other neighboring producer led groups
  • Provide statewide leadership exploring opportunities to implement hydrologic restoration practices to solve problems
  • Distribute targeted communications and install signage to highlight successful implementation of conservation practices by members
  • Leverage complementary funding opportunities and other resources      

More about this group: The participation of Wisconsin Wetlands Association as a collaborator has expanded the group's interest in looking at hydrology-focused water management practices. The group will continue to focus on water quality, irrigation management and nitrate reduction research.

Contact: Tamas Houlihan, (715) 623-7683,


Coon Creek Community Watershed Council

Collaborator: Vernon County Land & Water Conservation Department

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: Foster locally led conservation through engaging farmers, businesses and community members to identify and resolve local natural resource challenges in the Coon Creek Watershed

Mission statement: Demonstrate and implement best practices that improve Coon Creek, water quality, reduce flooding and help farms to be profitable


  • Reduce impacts of flooding
  • Increase awareness of conservation farming options
  • Reduce soil erosion
  • Improve water quality and enhance farm profitability

More about this group: This group will host round-robin style farm field days to help grow awareness, leadership and farmer empowerment. The group is interested in finding the best locations to “stack" conservation practices in order to enhance efficacy. This includes utilizing alternative forages on the uplands with buffers and water retention structures leading through the steeper woods and then buffering the streams down below.

Contact: Ben Wojahn, (608) 637-5482,


Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil and Healthy Water

Collaborator: Dodge County Land and Water Conservation Department

Region: Southeast

Mission statement: Improving our community's soil and water through conservation practices and education

Goals: Emphasis on improving soil health through the use of cover crops, residue management and reduced tillage.

More about this group: This group has a growing Cover Crop Incentive Program.  They focus on planting green, interseeding, and other innovations for cover crop management.  The group participates in Nitrogen Use Efficiency trials, soil health demonstrations and trials, and a Pay for Performance Phosphorus Reduction program. Each year they host a widely attended winter workshop along with a number of other field days and events held on farms throughout the watershed.

Contact: Tony Peirick, (920) 390-0583,




Dry Run Creek Farmer Led Council

Project title: Improving water quality and building soil health in the Dry Run Creek Watershed

Collaborator: St Croix County Land & Water Conservation Department

Region: Northwest

Goals, mission and vision: The group was formed to develop farmer leadership around soil health and water quality improvements, with the goals of increasing adoption of conservation practices that lead to phosphorus reductions, such as cover crops, grassed waterways, decreased tillage and crop diversity.

More about this group: This group is focuses on farmer engagement through outreach and education while building soil health and decreasing erosion. They incentivize cover crop planting and cost-share grassed waterway installations.

Contact: Tara Daun, 715-492-0329,  




Eau Pleine Partnership for Integrated Conservation (EPPIC)

Project title: EPPIC Improvements to Soil Health & Water Quality

Collaborator: Marathon County Conservation, Planning and Zoning Department

Region: North Central

Vision statement: A watershed characterized by clean waters, healthy soils and profitable farms

Mission statement: Integrating resilience into the natural resources, community and economy of the Big Eau Pleine Watershed


  • Create innovative education, outreach and collaboration opportunities to improve water quality and soil health
  • Promote land management practices that enhance economic and environmental impacts and support resilient communities

More about this group: This group holds demonstration field days to showcase no-till, cover cropping and managed-intensive grazing. They partner with collaborators to conduct on-farm research that will help demonstrate the measured, quantified and comparable impact of different conservation practices.

Contact: Brooke Bembeneck, (715) 261-6045,



Farmers for Lake Country

Project title: Farmers for Lake Country Conservation Initiatives

Collaborator: Tall Pines Conservancy

Region: Southeast

Vision statement: Farmers for Lake Country is a farmer-led group managed by the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program and Tall Pines Conservancy to assist with farmer education and engagement in conservation cost-share programs.

Mission statement: Provide expertise and guidance for the farming community in the Oconomowoc River Watershed and adjacent watersheds so that water quality and soil health is protected for the long term

Goals: The objective of these programs are to improve soil health and help preserve and protect our lakes and streams.

More about this group: This group is focused on planting green, interseeding, spring frost seeding, fall cover crop aerial seeding, no-till and cover crops. They continue to collaborate with other groups to share knowledge and to build momentum for conservation practices.

Contact: Darrell Smith, (414) 313-4323, 




Farmers for the Upper Sugar River (FUSR)

Project title: Increasing Ag Research and Outreach in the Sugar River Watershed

Collaborator: UW Extension

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: FUSR is an advocate for both farmers and the Upper Sugar River watershed. They serve as the educational outlet for farmers, pursue research opportunities and provide ways for farmers to come together and discuss agriculture. This group facilitates financial and technical support to farmers who wish to implement new and innovative ways to better their own operation while benefiting the natural environment.

Mission statement: Ensuring the future of agriculture by being responsible stewards of the land and water quality in the Upper Sugar River Watershed


  • Bring together like-minded farmers
  • Strengthen water quality improvement efforts
  • Leverage educational and financial resources to assist farmers in the watershed
  • Pursue research opportunities for on-farm trials

More about this group: This group's research looks at nitrogen use efficiency, involving zero nitrogen check strip trials on farms in different areas of the watershed to compare traditional nitrogen applied management with unfertilized strips and using combine yield monitors to compare results. Other areas of focus include cover crops, planting green, no-till and buffer strips.

Contact: Wade Moder, (608) 437-7707,




Farmers for Tomorrow River Watershed Council

Project title: Groundwater quality improvement in Tomorrow River watershed through education and Best Management Practices (BMP) application

Collaborator: Portage County Land & Water Conservation Division, UW Extension and Wisconsin Farmers Union

Region: North Central

Vision statement:  Our Vision is to make the Tomorrow River watershed better for Tomorrow and beyond

Mission statement:  To make farmers sustainable environmentally and financially with better practices

Goals:  Reduce Nitrate in groundwater, to encourage innovative approaches to new ideas in conservation practices, more specifically:

  • Reduce nitrates entering the groundwater in the Tomorrow/Waupaca River watershed from non-point sources
  • Further educate ourselves and our neighbors on nitrogen best management practices with the goal of improving groundwater quality and the water quality of the Tomorrow Waupaca River
  • Focus on adopting more environmentally friendly farming practices that will ensure clean water and healthy soils for future generations while maintaining or improving profitability
  • The ultimate goal of the Farmers for Tomorrow River Watershed Council is to be stewards of environmental sustainability for our land and water in our watershed

More about this group:  This group hosts one of the statewide on-farm Adaptive Nitrogen Management for Corn research trials in their watershed. They hope to add to the overall understanding of how to manage nitrogen on corn crops to reduce the environmental impact on groundwater. Incentive program offerings include no-till, cover crops, plant tissue sampling to better dial in on crop fertilizer needs and cover crop aerial applications.

Contact: Matt Hintz, (715) 824-6706,

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Farmers of Barron County

Project title: Creating Healthy Soils and Water through Education and Demonstrations

Collaborator: Barron County Soil & Water Conservation Department

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: Demonstrate ways to improve soil health and water quality

Mission statement: To reduce sediment delivery to the Yellow River while increasing soil health


  • Demonstrate that cover crops can work on all size farm operations
  • Demonstrate the benefits of conservation farming practices on the entire community
  • Demonstrate how to interseed cover crops into standing row crops
  • Research cover crop seed mixtures to be successfully used in interseeding applications
  • Research alternative cropping systems such as 60" corn rows with cover crops for grazing
  • Provide incentive payments to encourage experimenting with cover crops
  • Increase the number of farmers and acres to interseeding standing corn with cover crops by demonstration of and empowerment to try the practices on a diverse soil and management system

More about this group: This group focuses on how conservation practices such as interseeding cover crops can be done on a large farm scale using a 40 foot interseeder. They continue to learn what species grow best in interseeding and look at the effects of herbicide on the cover crops used.

Contact: Craig Hamernik, (715) 418-0053,


Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council

Project title: Water Quality Improvement and Public Outreach in Mill Creek Watershed

Collaborator: UW Extension, Portage County Land & Water Conservation Department

Region: North Central

Vision statement: Farmer Led Innovation and Public Education

Mission statement: To be stewards of environmental sustainability for our land and water in our watershed


  • Further educate ourselves and our neighbors on phosphorus best management practices with the goal of improving water quality of the Mill Creek in Portage and Wood Counties
  • Focus on adopting more environmentally friendly farming practices that will ensure clean water and healthy soils for future generations while maintaining or improving profitability

More about this group: This group provides demonstration and outreach on interseeding cover crops into growing corn, selecting cover crops that enhance pollinator habitat and prairie plantings and using more diverse cover crop species and mixes. They hope to have more farmers to try planting green and to stack no-till planting with the use of cover crops to take a more systems approach to their conservation efforts.

Contact: John Eron, (715) 498-5222,




Farmers of the Lemonweir Valley

Project title: Protecting the soil to decrease sediment and nutrient runoff

Collaborator: Juneau County Land & Water Department, Guardians of Lake Decorah (GOLD)

Region: North Central

Vision statement: The producers of Lemonweir Valley face a wide range of challenges given the landscape setting of the Lemonweir River in Juneau County. The headwaters of the river start in the bluffs of the driftless area that historically have sedimentation and phosphorus loss concerns and flow into the valley that is characterized by the sandy soils and nitrogen issues. These landscape challenges coupled with the extent of this watershed and unique farming systems within, make for a producer-led watershed program that will benefit through collaboration and innovation.

Mission statement: Demonstrating conservation through soil health and innovation


  • Develop a soil health initiative that includes the installation of cover crops under a variety of application methods to test what works best in different settings and weather conditions
  • Develop programs around grazing, grass-based forages and harvestable buffers
  • Test out biological additives to replace nutrient applications to the landscape, changing the timing of nutrient applications to promote crop use over loss and look for creative ways to handle manure
  • Make a strong connection with the community. Work closely with other organizations to establish a sharing system that allows the non-agricultural community to see the work they are doing and trying to meet common goals. This includes conducting farm tours of conservation efforts as well as work with the local community to establish demonstrations plots to be highlighted around community venues
  • Discuss research ideas and identity ways to document water quality benefits

More about this group: This group partners with a local lake improvement group, The Guardians of Lake Decorah (GOLD) to assist with outreach and conservation education in the watershed. They focus on promoting harvestable buffers, prescribed grazing, alternative soil testing, no-till and cover crops.

Contact: Bill Powers, (608) 547-9118,



Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri

Collaborator: Adams County Land & Water Conservation Department, UW Extension

Region: North Central

Vision statement: Our vision is a productive, resilient landscape where balance between natural resources and agricultural producer is met through the utilization of research and sound science. We strive to create a reality where local communities can experience sustainable economic viability and maintain a sense of collaboration among producers and consumers through intentional partnerships and mutual education.

Mission statement: The Farmers of the Roche-A-Cri are dedicated to building a local body of knowledge regarding the state of our natural resources through watershed-scale and on-farm research. We will embrace partnerships with local communities and strive to provide a welcoming educational environment to communicate soil and water management practices. We commit to being stewards of our land and water and to demonstrate to the public that farmers are conservation leaders.


  • Further educate ourselves and our neighbors on regenerative management practices with the goals of improving water quality and reducing sediment erosion within the Big Roche-A-Cri Creek watershed and Little Roche-A-Cri Creek watershed
  • Develop and maintain surface and groundwater monitoring systems in coordination with local partners and agencies
  • Provide intentional educational opportunities for producers, youth and the general public on watershed-scale management techniques to address oil and water quality concerns
  • Foster relationships with local communities by contributing time and support to conservation and watershed-focused events and efforts
  • Evaluate existing watershed data and seek additional measures of data collection in order to prioritize areas of greatest resource concerns for practice implementation

More about this group: This group hopes to promote engagement between the farming and non-farming communities to share the food production process, improve agricultural awareness and create common ground between stakeholders in the watersheds. Their demonstration sites focus on practices that address water quality concerns including: diverse prairie, cover crops and precision agriculture.

Contact: Anna James, (608) 339-4269,


Farmers of the Sugar River

Project title: Improving water quality by improving soil health through education in the watershed 

Collaborator: Green County Land and Water Conservation Department

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: Soil erosion should be a rare event and farmers will strive to do what it takes to avoid discharging polluted runoff in order to have healthy river to fish and recreate in along with safe drinking water, all while keeping the land profitable and sustainable for future generations.

Mission statement: A producer-led watershed group that shares and learns from other farmers to be profitable, protect and increase soil functions and improve water quality in the watershed.  We strive to teach each other as local farmers how to make conservation systems work on their farms to be part of the solution for cleaner waters and sustainable farms.


  • Increase the use and benefits of cover crops and practice of no-till in the watershed for the producer, soil and water holding capacity
  • Provide educational resources on regenerative ag to participants
  • Increase partnerships with local coops to reach more farmers and resources

More about this group: This group demonstrates that conservation practices such as nutrient management planning, reduced and no-tillage, and cover crops can be profitable. They offer incentive payments for innovative conservation practices, raise public awareness of farmers' efforts to protect the environment, host field days, tours and manage demonstration plots.

Contact: Tonya Gratz, (608) 325-4195 ext. 121,


Farmers on the Rock

Project title: Farmers on the Rock Nitrate Initiative

Collaborator: Rock County Land Conservation Department

Region: Southeast

Vision statement: Farmers and friends of agriculture utilizing technology and efficient production practices to improve our water quality and environment for future generations.

Mission statement: Farmers on the Rock is a farmer-led, nonprofit organization focused on using innovative production strategies with a focus on sustainable production practices that improve water quality and environmental sustainability. Through education, collaboration and demonstrations, we will share ideas that offer increased efficiency and sustainable production practices. As farmers we aim to be good stewards of the land and preserve our resources to provide a productive landscape for future generations to utilize.


  • Improve both surface and ground water quality in Rock County on the Rock River watershed through reduced nitrate losses by leach and runoff
  • Increase farmer knowledge about and engagement with water quality issues related to nitrogen application including the adoption of conservation practices
  • Develop leadership around water quality among farmers in the selected sub-watersheds
  • Develop a unique collaborative model of water quality improvement through farmer    engagement that can be replicated in watersheds throughout the Midwest and nationwide

More about this group: This group will utilize field days and on farm demonstrations to educate both members and potential members of strategies to increase the efficiency of nitrogen applications and how to reduce nitrate losses. Other focuses for incentive programs and workshops include contour buffer strips and field borders, well testing, cover crop implementation and no-till.

Contact: Chris Newberry, (608) 295-9580,


Hay River Farmer-Led Watershed Council

Project title: Improving water quality and building soil health in the Hay River Watersheds

Collaborator: Dunn County Land & Water Conservation Division

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: Improve the soil health and water quality in our watershed

Mission statement: Promote agriculture and conservation


  • Keep nutrients, soil and water on farmer's lands while increasing uses of practices that lead to phosphorous and soil loss reductions such as cover crops, waterways, reduced tillage, no tillage and more.
  • Increase participation in our farmer-led watershed and preserve farmland for future generations.

More about this group: This group incentivizes grassed waterways and cover crops. Their demonstration plot highlights 60" row corn and different seeding methods for cover crops.

Contact: Tina Barone, (715) 231-6533 




Horse Creek Area Farmer Led Watershed Council

Project title: Improving Water Quality and Soil Health in the Horse Creek and Squaw Lake Watersheds

Collaborator: Polk County Land & Water Resources Department

Region: Northwest

Mission statement: The Horse Creek Area Watershed Council is a voluntary, producer-led environmental management program. Our mission is to inspire producers to adopt best management practices dedicated to protecting water quality and improving soil health.


  • Proactively address issues to prevent regulation
  • Increase farmer engagement in soil health practices
  • Expansion to additional watersheds
  • Soil health improvement
  • Widespread cover crop adoption
  • Mentor peers in conservation practices
  • Trial and evaluate a pilot carbon credit offset program for applicability in the producer-led watershed protection model

More about this group: This group continues to explore how carbon sequestration and carbon markets fit within the producer-led model. They share their lessons learned with other groups with the hope that they will also implement practices that advance soil health and water quality while capturing carbon. Their long-term demonstration plot highlights no till with and without cover crops versus conventional tillage with and without cover crops.

Contact: Eric Wojchik, (715) 485-8644




Iowa County Uplands Watershed Group

Project title: Iowa County's Uplands Farmer Led Watershed Group 2022 Proposal

Collaborator: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI)

Region: Southwest

Mission statement: The group's purposes are to provide mutual support and exchange information about farming practice strategies that improve nutrient management, protect water quality, retain soil and improve soil quality on farmland in the watershed.


  • Reduce nutrient contamination of water, especially by phosphorous and nitrogen, and reduce soil loss from our farms
  • Develop, update and implement 590 compliant Nutrient Management Plans.
  • Increase total acreage of cover crops, no-till and pasture and/or silvo-pasture
  • Host at least 5 meetings about at least five important aspects of conservation practices (including weed management under different conservation systems, low-cost conservation promoting practices and profitable alternative crops, riparian forest buffers and streambank restoration, reduced-erosion approaches to tillage and various cover crop topics).
  • Increase membership by at least 5 more farmers and 2 non-farming landowners with diverse profiles regarding size, farm type and farming philosophy
  • Hold 2-3 in person field days or farms tours and 1-2 virtual events with at least 80 participants at each event
  • Have at least 3 farmers participate in the  CCROP Citizen Science Cover Crops Research initiative
  • Have demonstration or research plots on at least 3 farms
  • Hold at least 1 social event to recruit more farmers and encourage community engagement

More about this group: This group was chosen by UW-Madison's Grassland 2.0 Project as the site of one of its three Wisconsin-based “Learning Hubs". Conservation practice program offerings include stream crossings, streambank restoration, pasture renovation and expansion and no-till. They continue to offer programming on a diversity of conservation topics suitable to all sizes and types of farms.

Contact: Joe Stapleton, (608) 574-8118



Jefferson County Soil Builders

Project title: Jefferson County Soil Builders Cover Crop Incentive and Education

Collaborator: Jefferson County Land and Water Conservation Department

Region: Southeast

Vision statement: To inspire farmers to keep soil in place, nutrients in the fields and waters clean

Mission statement: Enhance water quality and natural resources through education, collaboration and improved farming practices


  • Put cover crops on the landscape to demonstrate holding soil in place and minimizing nutrient runoff
  • Educate farmers about soil health practices including cover crops and reducing tillage.

More about this group: The group intends to build more interest in their programs by holding shop talks and field days to increase adoption of cover cropping in the county. They aim for their efforts to result in a reduction of sediment and phosphorous reaching local water resources.

Contact: Dean Weichmann, (920) 988-4620



Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA)

Project title: Improving water quality and farm sustainability through conservation in Lafayette County

Collaborator: Farmers for Sustainable Food, The Nature Conservancy

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: A community where farmers and friends of agriculture work together to protect and improve our water quality and environment

Mission statement: Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance is a farmer-led, nonprofit organization committed to faithful and sustainable stewardship of our natural resources. Through innovation and collaboration, we identify, share and promote conservation practices that demonstrate continuous improvement and preserve and enhance the quality of life in our community.


  • Focus on water quality improvements through farmer education, adoption of practices and documentation of our efforts to measure impact
  • Increase membership and community engagement
  • Increase participants in our cost-share programs
  • Continue member conservation practice survey to show progress over time
  • Host educational events for members and the community to learn and collaborate
  • Continue pilot project and maintain demonstration and research projects on member's farms with partner organizations
  • Develop a stronger relationship with local NRCS. 

More about this group: Research plots highlight minimal tillage, cover crops with manure, soil health, planting green and strip till. The group has been a part of a nationally- awarded on-farm sustainability pilot project evaluating multiple sustainability and financial benchmarks on their member farms.  They have helped fund an important groundwater study in Southwest Wisconsin and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement.

Contact: Jim Winn, (608) 778-3271


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Lake Wisconsin Farmer Watershed Council

Project title: Keeping the Soil on the Land

Collaborator: Columbia County Land & Water Conservation Department

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: The Lake Wisconsin Farmer Watershed Council is working together to help farmers adopt improved practices that protect and improve surface and groundwater quality. They wish to work with and encourage farmers in the Lake Wisconsin area to learn and adopt new methods of reducing soil erosion and increasing water filtration on the land they manage and accomplish this by maintaining or improving farm profitability. People who live, work and play in the Lake Wisconsin area will all benefit from having high quality surface and groundwater.

Mission statement: The Lake Wisconsin Farmer Watershed Council is a community of farmers and partners that share a common goal of reducing soil runoff and improving surface water and groundwater quality in the Lake Wisconsin Area. They accomplish this through following farming best practices which reduce runoff, improve infiltration, improve soil health and follow 590 compliant nutrient management plans for their farming operations.


  • Create a network/community of farmers that can support one another.
  • Increase the number of acres that incorporate comprehensive practices that will reduce runoff to surface waters, improve soil health to improve infiltration on the land in order to mitigate future flooding events.
  • Conduct on farm demonstrations to showcase other innovative practices and solutions to the complex issues. Columbia County Extension and the Land and Water Conservation Department will assist farmers with recording data, creating budgets and sharing the information with others at events
  • Encourage the use of low disturbance liquid dairy manure injection tools by farmers in this area and facilitate a field demonstration of this equipment.
  • Encourage the use of multiple methods of cover crop establishments by farmers in the area
  • Facilitate a field demonstration of aerial application, broadcast spreading and no-till seeding of cover crops.
  • Provide programs that are accessible to any and all farming cultures within Columbia County.
  • Provide the necessary assistance and guidance that is not currently available to all through existing programs.

More about this group: This group is also interested in exploring opportunities of how carbon can be quantified into soil health benefits which may be utilized to install additional conservation practices for soil health. They incentivize cover crops and low disturbance manure application. Their demonstration plots highlight grazing beef and dairy heifers on cover crops and crop residues, interseeding, and soil compaction reduction.

Contact: Kurt Calkins, (608) 742-9670,


Ozaukee County Clean Farm Families (CFF)

Project title: Improving Soil Health and Water Quality in Ozaukee County

Collaborator: Ozaukee County Land & Water Management Department

Region: Southeast

Vision statement:  Achieve healthy soils to improve water quality and sustain agricultural production

Mission statement: Improve soil health and water quality


  • Grow interest in soil health and expand participation via providing educational workshops, field days, incentive payments, demo plots and demonstrations of innovative tools and practices.
  • Provide conservation incentives to promote soil health practices.
  • Increase the number of farmers and acres using cover crops and no-till by 20%.
  • Promote interseeding of cover crops using the 6 row interseeder planter owned by the county; continue to evaluate and demonstrate interseeding on plots throughout the county; continue to work with the WI On-Farm Research Network Collaborative Interseeding Trial; coordinate efforts to evaluate interseeding of multi-species mixes to increase forage quality and production.
  • Increase acres of low disturbance manure application and nutrient management plans; establish field day with implement dealers to showcase low disturbance manure application tool bars.
  • Continue cover crop/soil health field plot demonstrations to compare convention farming methods to farming using no-till and cover crops.
  • Work with UW-Platteville and Water Resources Monitoring Group to evaluate the impacts of soil health on runoff.
  • Demonstrate planting green and crimping of cover crops.
  • Work with collaborators to host workshops and presentations and have continued involvement with local municipalities.

More about this group: This group has two farms that are part of a five year soil health and economic assessment to document changes in soil and farm profitability when following the soil health principles which will help justify locally the benefits of achieving healthy soils. They have expanded their incentive program to also include planting green and rotational grazing. They continue to promote the use of no-till and cover crops to improve soil health and water quality.

Contact: Matthew Winker, (262) 689-8994




Pecatonica Pride

Project title: Pecatonica Pride Community Watershed Project

Collaborator: Lafayette County Land Conservation & Planning and Zoning Department

Region: Southwest

Mission statement: A collaboration of community groups, farmers, fishers, landowners and river lovers pulling together to improve and promote the East Pecatonica River and its trout streams between Blanchardville and South Wayne, Wisconsin


  • Pecatonica Pride will work to bring watershed stakeholders together to learn and share with one another.
  • Offer ways for farmers/landowners to become more familiar with the programs and share accomplishments to help paint the picture of what is available.
  • Show how landowners can help their communities downstream with our phosphorus reduction practices.

More about this group: Incentive and cost-share program offerings include streambank restoration, manure storage, mini grant conservation practices and nutrient management planning.

Contact: April Prussia, (608) 444-1102,



Peninsula Pride Farms (PPF)

Project title: Promoting regenerative practices to protect water in Door and Kewaunee Counties

Collaborator: Farmers for Sustainable Food, The Nature Conservancy

Region: Northeast

Vision statement: Clean, safe water and a thriving agricultural community together on the Door-Kewaunee Peninsula

Mission statement: As farmers and caretakers of the environment, we are committed to protecting, nurturing and sustaining our precious soil, water and air. To foster environmental stewardship, we will promote practices with measurable outcomes that secure and enrich the future of our shared community.


  • Build on our experiences over the past five years implementing individual practices and further developing and promoting a systems approach to conservation for greater results.
  • Encourage members to implement multiple conservation practices on the same land to magnify the positive impact.
  • Continue to grow our cost-share program in the amount of funds awarded to members from our Increase the number of farmers participating in a variety of cost-share practices to help improve soil health and water quality.
  • Continue our sustainability project.
  • Collaborate with others in our community to discuss solutions at field days and other events.

More about this group: Cost share programs include split nitrogen application, cover crops, harvestable buffers, low-disturbance manure application, no-till and planting green. They host a variety of pop-up field days throughout the watershed highlighting members' conservation practices. They launched a sustainability project using Field to Market's Fieldprint Platform to understand the sustainability impact of field-level practices on participating farms. They continue to connect with a variety of partners include the Door- Kewaunee NRCS Demonstration Farms Networks and the Climate Change Coalition of Door County.

Contact: Don Niles, (920) 621-3253,




Producers of Lake Redstone

Project title: Regenerating Soil Health to Improve Agricultural Production and Water Quality

Collaborator: Juneau & Sauk County Land & Water Department

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: The Producers of Lake Redstone Watershed are working towards the goal of improving the water quality and soil health within the watershed

Mission statement: Our producer-led group is using on farm research and innovative practices to improve conservation in and out of the watershed

Goals: Increasing farmer participation and preparing to transition existing cropland into pasture for improved soil health.

More about this group: Outreach and research focuses on edge of field monitoring, US Geological Survey (USGS) stream gauging, cover crops, soil health and green farming. Conservation signage in select locations has helped draw attention to how growing season cover crops and rotational grazing are being used in the watershed.

Contact: Brian Daugs, (608) 847-0157,



Red Cedar Conservation Farmers

Project title: Improving Water Quality and Soil Health in the Red Cedar Basin

Collaborator: Dunn County Land & Water Conservation Division

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: To improve surface and groundwater quality through the promotion of soil health practices and community education

Mission statement: Reduce phosphorous and nitrogen loading to the Red Cedar River by promoting soil health practices through community education and best management practice adoption


  • Achieve significant, sustainable reduction in the phosphorus and nitrate load being exported to the Red Cedar River
  • Improve soil health by increasing organic matter content, improving water filtration, reducing compaction and reducing erosion
  • Conduct education and outreach activities to inform peers, youth and the non-agricultural community about current beneficial farm practices that improve both crop production and soil health while also improving downstream water quality

More about this group: This group is focused on educating on the use of nitrogen through nutrient management planning, field plots, field days and the use of cover crops to reduce nitrates in groundwater while making operations more profitable.

Contact: Tina Barone, (715) 231-6533,​


Rock River Regenerative Graziers

Collaborator: Glacierland Resource Conservation & Development Council Inc., Renewing the Countryside, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Region: Southeast

Vision statement: Create abundance while enhancing our environment for future generations

Mission statement: To enhance the ecosystem services for current and future residents of the Rock River Basin by improving soil and water health through implementation of best regenerative agricultural practices


  • Establish permanent, perennial pastures and forage land of diverse, dense swords of high-quality forage. Manage soil fertility and fertilizer application rate within these lands by providing on-farm technical assistance, writing grazing plans and collecting soil samples.
  • Promote great adoption of rotational grazing in the Rock River Basin with current, beginning and future livestock farms by hosting a soil health workshop, 4 farms pasture walks, field days, and print and distribute materials to educate on rotational grazing.
  • Help existing rotational graziers grow capacity through training, networking and sharing skills so they are equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience to effectively mentor other regional farmers by providing scholarships to members to attend conferences and hosting monthly meetings for peer-to-peer discussions.
  • Build community awareness of the environmental and local economic benefits of rotational grazing and grass-fed products to increase demand for grass-based products by sharing presentations at local public meetings, disseminating promotional brochures and using social media.

More about this group: This group takes an on-farm, hands-on educational approach at workshops and pasture walks. They provide personalized on-farm mentoring to assist in conversions of grazing on their own farms through on-farm consultations and development of farm specific grazing plans.

Contact: Kirsten Jurcek, (920) 342-9504,



Sauk Soil & Water Improvement Group (SSWIG)

Collaborator: Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Department, UW-Extension

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: Healthy soils, clean waters, and thriving communities supported by resilient family farms

Mission statement: Improving soil health and water quality through regenerative agricultural practices and education to build resilient family farms and thriving rural communities


  • Increasing and measuring the adoption of regenerative practices and management systems that improve soil health and water quality
  • Increasing awareness and understanding of the impact that regenerative management systems have on soil health and water quality
  • Continuing to increase the networking capacity and outreach for the group and expanding organizational capacity to ensure a sustainable group over time that will assist in attaining goals while having a positive and lasting impact in the communities

More about this group: Field day and workshop topics include cover crop planting methods, interseeding, diverse mixes, regenerative agriculture, no-till planter setup and rotational grazing.

Contact: Roger Bindl, (608) 588-5031,


Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers (SRPF)

Project title: Test and use conservation practices to build better soil on farms in the Sheboygan River basin

Collaborator: The Nature Conservancy, Farmers for Sustainable Food (FSF)

Region: Northeast

Vision statement: To test conservation practices, share information with other farmers to improve soil health and reduce the effects of runoff

Mission statement: The Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers (SRPF) is an alliance of farmers dedicated to enhancing farm, land, and water resources in the Sheboygan River basin.  They desire to test and use the best management practices available to build better soils, enhance agricultural production, and minimize environmental impacts.


  • Build soil health of farm fields in the basin. 
  • Provide farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities on how conservation practices can fit into a farmer's operation.
  • Offer a cost share incentive program to members to reduce the risk of trying new practices.

More about this group: This group is providing incentives to farmers to do soil, manure and tissue sampling, develop nutrient management plans, conservation tillage, planting green and low-disturbance manure injection. They participate in gypsum trials as a means of increasing water filtration and reducing runoff on their heavy clay soils. They also provide academic scholarships to students pursuing a college degree in agriculture or environmental sciences.

Contact: Brody Stapel, (920) 946-2410,




Shell Lake - Yellow River Watershed Council

Project title: Farmers working to protect our waters by keeping nutrients on the field

Collaborator: Washburn County Land & Water Conservation Department, Northwest Grazers

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: Improving the sustainability of the soil to produce crops

Mission statement: Working as a non-profit organization to improve soil health and water quality through outreach, education and conservation practices that improve the sustainability of agriculture


  • Grow as a group
  • Increase the level of conservation practices adoption using short term incentives
  • Increase the farming influence over the state's non-point source pollution program by advocating for solutions that are financial viable long term solutions through education

More about this group: Grazing field days focus on watering systems, alternative forages, and cattle handling. They also do outreach on soil testing and manure injection system pros and cons. They focus on continuing to develop short videos highlighting farmers and conservation practices.

Contact: Brent Edlin, (715) 468-4654,



South Kinni Farmer Led Watershed Council

Collaborator: Pierce County Land & Water Conservation

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: To see the successful adoption of soil health principles to all farmland in the watershed

Mission statement: The purpose of the Council is to improve water quality in the Rocky Branch and South Fork watersheds by reducing phosphorus and sediment loading. This is achieved by allowing local farmers and landowners to direct their own incentives program.


  • Engage farmers/landowners through a farm walkover to evaluate current resource concerns on their property
  • Encourage farmers/landowners to create and maintain 590 plans on all their cropland
  • Promote installation of grassed waterways where erosion occurs
  • Provide incentives to landowners to create buffer/filter strips with pollinator type seed mixes to reduce runoff
  • Encourage farmers to adopt soil health based practices that include no-till and cover crops

More about this group: Incentive programs include nutrient management planning, buffer strips, converting cropland to pollinator plot, no-till, and cover crops. Field day and workshop topics include soil health, organic farming with mechanical cover crop termination and incorporating biochar into agriculture. They are working to develop pop-up field side chats to highlight new practices and equipment while encouraging questions and communication.

Contact: Dan Sitz, (715) 273-6763,




Tainter Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council

Project title: Cultivating Conservation Solutions in Practice and Action in the Tainter Creek Watershed

Collaborator: Vernon County Land Conservation Department, Valley Stewardship Network

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: Foster locally led conservation through engaging farmers and community members to identify and resolve local natural resource challenges in the Tainter Creek Watershed.

Mission statement: Demonstrate and implement the best practices that improve Tainter Creek. 


  • To gain a better understanding of the baseline surface and subsurface water quality in the Tainter Creek watershed and find ways to actively improve them.
  • Identify ways to reduce effects of flooding impacts.
  • Proactively work to manage the effects of weather events through conservation agriculture conservation practices.

More about this group: This group focuses on reducing the impacts of flooding and erosion and learning what the surface water baseline is in the watershed. They share knowledge among neighbors and host field days.  They also conduct surface water testing, well water testing, and provide incentives for cover crops and alternative forages. 

Contact: Ben Wojahn, (608) 637-5482,



Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County

Project title: Soil Health Promotion in Racine County

Collaborator: Racine County Land Conservation Department

Region: Southeast

Vision statement Healthy Soil is Sustainable Agriculture

Mission statement Establish growing conservation knowledge to improve land and water quality

Goals:  The goals include: promoting soil health, providing soil health education, conducting research and creating public awareness regarding the positive soil and water quality impacts of regenerative farming.

More about this group: They highlight soil health practices at the Case Eagle Park demonstration site that include yield differences, runoff comparisons, return on investments and organic matter. Workshop topics include soil health, no-till, incorporating livestock, interseeding, cover crops and other regenerative agriculture topics.

Contact:  Chad Sampson, (262) 886-8440




Western Wisconsin Conservation Council (WWCC)

Project title: Farmers protecting soil health and water quality in the Rush River watershed

Collaborator: Farmers for Sustainable Food, The Nature Conservancy

Region: Northwest

Vision statement: WWCC farmer members are committed to being stewards of the land and water in our care.

Mission statement: We use research, collaboration and financial resources to promote best farming practices that keep soil healthy and water clean.


  • Continue research program with University of Wisconsin-River Falls
  • Grow membership
  • Expand participation in cost-share program
  • Increase community outreach and exposure through events and media interaction
  • Continue member conservation practice survey
  • Continue Nutrient Management Plan writing workshop series
  • Increase sponsorship program
  • Increase the adoption of conservation practices on the land

More about this group: They are working to strike a balance between practical in-field needs and investigation of emerging technologies that represent future best management practices. Collaboration with the University of Wisconsin at River Falls has led to a database of groundwater quality in member wells and a lysimeter installation project.

Contact: Todd Doornink, (715) 760-0216,




Yahara Pride Farms Inc.

Project title: Reducing agricultural phosphorus loss to surface waters in the Yahara Watershed

Collaborator: Farmers for Sustainable Food, The Nature Conservancy

Region: Southwest

Vision statement: To balance water quality improvement with farm sustainability and profitability

Mission statement: Yahara Pride Farms is a farmer-led, not-for-profit organization working to improve soil and water quality. We strive to advance new ideas and technology that balance water quality improvements with farm sustainability and profitability.


  • Create a mechanism to recognize farmer-led environmental sustainability, rewarding farmers for good stewardship, tracking collective progress in conservation and demonstrating watershed achievement
  • Inform farmers of new water quality rules, laws and issues
  • Earn the trust and respect of farmers, private citizens and government by engaging them in our projects and educational programs that demonstrate our commitment to doing our fair share
  • Promote the Yahara Pride Farms brand among both urban and rural communities

More about this group: This group's incentive program continues to grow; it includes strip tillage, low disturbance manure injection, cover crops, composting manure, and no till planting. They hope to continue to build and strengthen relationships with other Producer-Led watershed groups.

Contact: Jeff Endres, (608) 279-8991,


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