I must say the past few weeks have been exciting for me and all the staff as we see growing participation and interest in farmer-led watershed/sustainability initiatives.
The launch of Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance (LASA) hosted by Highway Dairy Farms LLC had over 100 people attend. The Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network Kickoff field day, in cooperation with Peninsula Pride Farms and hosted by Deer Run Dairy LLC, had over 80 people in attendance. Yahara Pride Farms held a field day at Endres Berryridge Farms LLC that had over 150 attendees. (All of these host farms are DBMMC members!)
This is a huge milestone for our dairy community as farmers are learning, innovating and demonstrating improvements that will help their overall sustainability.
The proof that these initiatives will pay great dividends is the 2016 Phosphorous Reduction Report released by Yahara Pride Farms. The report quantifies the adopted farming practices are reducing the phosphorous runoff into the streams and lakes. These voluntary improvements have exceeded expectations and provides encouragement that farmer-led initiatives are a critical part on the pathway to success.
These programs would have not been possible without the volunteer and visionary leadership of Jeff Endres, Don Niles and Jim Winn. These leaders have proven that when farmers are presented a challenge, they can and will develop a solution. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank their local boards and committees for their exceptional efforts. DBMMC is proud to support each program as we know they are our future.