LWRD to establish Demonstration Farm Network in Dane County 

The Dane County Land & Water Resources Department (LWRD) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through a five-year cooperative agreement totaling $1 million, according to a press release last Friday. LWRD will utilize these funds to establish a Demonstration Farm Network in Dane County in collaboration with local farmers. 

The network of farms will conduct on-farm research to test current and innovative conservation systems and their ability to protect local water quality. Demonstration farms will provide learning opportunities including tours and field days for farmers, agribusinesses, farmer-led watershed groups, natural resource agencies, and others, as well as facilitate farmer-to-farmer learning. 

To initiate this network, Dane County LWRD will be identifying potential farms through the summer of 2023. Farmers who participate as a demonstration farm are eligible for an incentive payment. Dane County LWRD will collaborate with the University of Wisconsin on the research aspects of the project, which include soil health and forage sampling as well as edge-of-field water quality monitoring. The plan is to have the Dane Demonstration Farms established by the fall of 2023.