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Foye to Head DATCP's Land & Water Bureau
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/14/2014

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture has named a new director to lead its natural resources programs. Keith Foye was chosen to replace Kathy Pielsticker, who retired last month. He will be responsible for overseeing programs like farmland preservation, agricultural enterprise areas, livestock siting, conservation reserve enhancement, drainage districts and agricultural impact statements.

"I'm honored to have this opportunity to lead the bureau where I've worked all these years," Foye said. "The staff in the Bureau of Land and Water Resources and our partners from local offices up to federal agencies are dedicated to protecting Wisconsin's natural resources and keeping land in farming for future generations. Wisconsin has been a leader in conservation since the earliest days back in the 1930s, and I'm happy to be part of that tradition."

Foye is no stranger to the department, having spent his entire 38-year career working with soil and water conservation. He began his career in 1976 as the county conservationist in Clark County. In 1988, he joined DATCP as a planning analyst in the land and water bureau and later was promoted to chief of the bureau's land management section.

He has received eight exceptional performance awards from DATCP over the years, and was also recognized by the USDA FSA with an achievement award for his work implementing the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a $240 million federal-state-local partnership to protect water quality and wildlife habitat on 100,000 acres in Wisconsin. Foye also wrote a successful grant application for $650,000 from NRCS to develop best management practices for reducing odors from livestock operations, and oversaw development of ATCP 49, the administrative rule governing the Farmland Preservation Program.

Keith has been instrumental in numerous revisions of ATCP 50, the rule governing soil and water programs, including agricultural performance standards.

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