On Tuesday September 24th, the farmers of the Horse Creek Area Farmer-Led Watershed council had the opportunity to share their accomplishments with DATCP Secretary Brad Pfaff and State Senator Patty Schactner. The tour started with a visit to the test plot field where the council members, in partnership with Federated Coop and Polk County Land and Water Resources Department staff, conduct annual monitoring of different cropping practices such as conventional tillage, no-till, and cover crops. The tour also included a visit to Cedar Lake to discuss how lakeshore owners and agricultural producers have collaborated as well as an “edge of field monitoring” station used to assess agricultural runoff and evaluate the success of farm conservation practices. Lastly, the tour concluded at the farm of Neal and Craig Gustafson who discussed their experience using no-till practices and share the lessons they have learned over the years. The visit was a great opportunity to explore how farmer-led watershed councils have created a positive impact on the local water resources in Polk County and provided a better understanding on how the farmer-led watershed councils could help in the implementation of Governor Evers’ clean drinking water initiative.
Farmers in attendance were Scott Carlson, Craig Gustafson, Neal Gustafson, and Brad Johnson. Others who joined the tour include Eric Wojchik, Dane Christenson, and Tim Ritten of Polk County Land and Water Resources; Bill Hogseth and Julie Bomar of Wisconsin Farmers Union; and Rachel Rushmann of DATCP.