Find out who's new and what's happening at Southwest Badger RC&D.

Your SW Badger Quarterly News & Updates
New Stewardship Specialist gets started on Aquatic Invasive Species and more in the Northern region, Beginning Farmer Mentorship Project continues to bring new farmers and mentors together, and SW Badger Forester assists landowners with invasive plant control and more!
Upcoming Events

July 20 - Southwest Badger RC&D Council Meeting, UW Extension, East Hall Rm 713, 1000 Hwy 14 West, Richland Center, WI, 10 am - 12pm. 

August 8 - Pasture Walk on Pasture Soil Health, Contract Grazing, and Grazing Planning, 12041 Severson Rd, Ferryville, WI10 am -12 pm.  
August 12 - Alternative Poultry Farm Tour & Breakfast, Mineral Point, WI 

September 4 - 6 Soil Sisters Workshop, Farm Tours and Events   Click here for more details


Stewardship Specialist will Focus on Invasive Species

Tyler Dvorak began work at Southwest Badger RC&D on June 28, 2017 as the Stewardship Specialist.  Tyler hails from West De Pere, WI, just outside of Green Bay. He attended UW-Stevens Point and completed a Bachelor's of Science in Philosophy and Environmental Ethics. He spent the past seven years working as a biologist for a large land conservancy on Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California. 

Tyler will first focus on Aquatic Invasive Species  utilizing his GIS skills and eventually delve into terrestrial species, grazing, and all topics relating to land stewardship. Tyler is shown here with a fence he just built on his newly purchased property in Viola, WI.  Read more by clicking here:  www.swbadger.org
100 Beginning Farmers and Mentors Raising Grass-fed Livestock 
By Robert Bauer, Grazing Broker
 
Farmers in Wisconsin are using mentorships to take the next step toward raising grass-fed livestock.

Over 100 farmers and landowners have participated in the Mentorship Program for Future Livestock Farmers through Southwest Badger RC&D over the past 1 1/2 years: 24 mentors and 42 beginners have formally applied to participate in the program, plus the program serves 18 mentor farmers and 47 beginning farmers who have not formally applied.
 
Bryce Riemer of Brodhead, WI, enrolled in the program in 2016 to work with mentor Jacob Marty of Monticello, WI. Bryce and Jacob worked together on planning the Riemer's grazing system, including navigating the USDA-NRCS's EQIP program and working together to complete installation of pasture fencing and livestock water pipeline. After a successful mentorship experience Bryce decided in 2017 to apply with his wife Jen to mentor Isaac Welsh.
 
Bryce and Jen operate a diversified livestock farm that includes beef, pork, chicken, and turkeys. They also raise non-GMO feed for the livestock and sell their meat at farmer's markets and direct to customers via drop points in Wisconsin and Illinois.
 
Isaac Welsh is a sophomore in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is a member of the collegiate soils team, which placed among the top teams in two national competitions in April 2017. Isaac would like to farm full-time on his grandfather's land in Brodhead when he graduates from university. Through the mentorship program Isaac is completing a summer internship at Riemer Farmily Farm, earning income that he will put toward his college tuition and developing experience with how to raise grass-fed beef and poultry.

Jen says of her experience so-far, "Isaac is an exceptional worker. He's up with the sun to feed the chickens and he stays past dark to make sure all the chores get done. The best part about being a paid mentor in the mentorship program is knowing that we can take time to explain to Isaac how and why we are using managed grazing to raise grass-fed beef. With this internship Isaac is working on the aspects of grazing that he wants to learn including pasture seeding, fencing, and herding livestock."
 
The mentorship program is currently accepting applications for mentors and beginners. You can also watch a video about Riemer Family Farm at 
 
The Mentorship Program for Future Livestock Farmers is supported by a 2015-2017 BFRDP grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


Forester to Assist Landowners with Invasive Species

In cooperation with UW Extension,Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and UW Madison Southwest Badger Forester, Brandon Bleuer, will be seeking landowners of 10 or more acres in the Kickapoo Valley region and coordinate teams to assess and map their properties for invasive species.  The landowners will then be provided with a control plan developed by UW Extension.  Supported by a grant from the NUZUM Foundation, the project is intended to discern how many landowners will actually do something about the invasive plants found in their woods after being given a plan and instructed on what to do. If you are interested in working to remove or control invasive species on your woodland, contact Brandon. Read more about the project here.  

Services Offered at Low or No Cost

Landowners in SW Wisconsin can now go online to request technical and onsite assistance for invasive species, forestry, and grazing from Southwest Badger RC&D. Some of the services offered are covered by grants, but not all.

According to Gene Hausner, Board Chair of Southwest Badger and resident of Spring Green, "Folks who don't qualify for a specific grant-funded program have a streamlined process to get help while covering our costs to provide that service. We are proud of serving the community as a non-profit with low overhead costs relative to local government."  More information on services available, location of service, pricing, and sign-up is available at SW Badger Services  or call 608-348-7110.



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