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Kewaunee, Door County Farmers Launch Watershed Initiative
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/01/2016

Nearly three dozen farmers in northeastern Wisconsin have teamed up to form a new environmental stewardship coalition. It's being called 'Peninsula Pride Farms,' which is a group of member-producers that range in size from 66 cows to 6,000 cows. They aim to leverage the ingenuity of the agricultural community, university research and scientists to meet water quality challenges.

Peninsula Pride Farms will focus on more innovative ways to protect and improve ground and surface water through conservation practices and technology in Kewaunee and southern Door counties. This is the first local collaboration of its kind in an area dealing with decades-long water quality issues.

"Farmers, by nature, are innovative problem solvers," said Don Niles, a dairy farmer in Casco, who led the planning for the group. "We can be most effective by working toward solutions in a collaborative manner."

The nonprofit coalition will focus on promoting farming methods that create measurable and sustainable improvements. They say one of the keys to the initiative will be to create benchmarks to for continuous improvement for individual farms that take into account the unique characteristics of each farm's systems and environmental characteristics.

Meanwhile, the group also will provide education and outreach through things like on-farm demonstrations for both farmers and the public.

A similar farmer-led alliance in the Yahara River watershed has kept thousands of pounds of phosphorous out of Madison area lakes in the past two years in an effort to reduce algae growth.

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