News from Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc.

Conservation that Works!


Next Full Council Meeting to be Held on Friday, April 20, 2018

The 1st Quarterly Meeting for 2018 will be held on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. to noon. Location will be  UW Extension, East Hall Rm 713 1000 Hwy 14 West, Richland Ctr, WI
Guest speaker will be Robert Bauer, SW Badger's  Grazing Broker/Educator with an update of his projects.   Please RSVP to to receive any updates or changes about the meeting. 

Welcome Dana Lawrence Outreach Specialist (Lafayette Co)


Dana Lawrence was born and raised in the Southwest Lafayette County in the village of Benton. Dana has always been involved in the Natural resources of the Tri State area, from his many roles in conservation groups, such as Pheasants Forever where he served as habitat coordinator in Iowa for over a decade, to the Izaak Walton League in Wisconsin and Iowa for over 20years.
After finishing college, Dana secured a job with the USDA in the Medicine Bow Forest Service as surveyor and fire fighter, then with the Soil Conservation Service in Wisconsin and later onto the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Resource Conservation & Development in both Wisconsin and Iowa.
Dana recently purchased the first homestead established in Lafayette County and the Historic Mill Dam. This has enabled him to pursue his passion of caring for the woods and Fever River adjacent to the site as well as preserve the history in the Lead Mining area of Wisconsin. In his free time you'll find Dana hunting, fishing or kayaking depending on the season.
Contact Dana at (563) 543-7476 or via e-mail at

Sunset in Potosi, WI, photo by Wendy Warren, 

Tree Protectors and Weed Mats Protect Your Investment...order today!

SW Badger RC&D has been taking orders and selling Tree Protection to landowners for over a decade. While tree protectors (tree tubes) protect your investment, they also help support Southwest Badger operational budget. Those who write grants know that grants don't pay for everything, and more importantly, grants don't pay for grant writing.... so we look for funding from sales and donations to support the effort to keep the organization funded through grants. Call the main office to order yours at (608) 348-7110.  Click here to see the order form on our web page. Thank you for your support! 

Training organic farmers to access land, capital, and experience!

By Robert Bauer, Grazing Broker/Educator

I was honored to be invited to speak to graziers at two conferences in Wisconsin this spring. The annual Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Conference in La Crosse is the "largest gathering of organic farmers in the known universe", according to former MOSES Director Faye Jones. The annual Northwest Wisconsin Grazing Conference in Luck, WI, brings together a diverse group of livestock farmers from Pierce, St. Croix, and Polk counties. The networking opportunities at these events are fantastic. I always come away energized and inspired by the folks who I meet.
"Raising livestock without owning land" was the topic of the day at both venues. I came prepared with a set of stories of our local farmers and landowners, which I had practiced and reviewed with a panel of contract graziers the week before. These three farmers use their own land to raise other people's livestock. It was wonderful to learn alongside them, and see how they applied the ideas to their own farms.  
I love interactive presentations, so I made sure to include an investment self-assessment to help folks determine what kinds of contract grazing scenarios would be right for them, since not everyone at the conferences would own land or livestock. Participants scored themselves to determine the level of investment risk that would be right for them, based on their goals, current assets and farming experience, net worth, and timeframe for investment. We then translated investment risk into the type of contract grazing arrangements that would fit each person. 

I built upon that activity by having folks network with their neighbors. Connections that start with common goals, good communication, and trust can develop into last, working relationships, which are the foundation of profitable livestock enterprises. So I presented a framework for renting land that starts by showing the landowner a farm that the livestock farmer has managed, and ends with talking face-to-face about the many specific terms and conditions of a lease. An important middle step is to discuss all of the owner's concerns about their property, which leads into an open conversation about how to address each concern through written terms of a lease.
I also discussed negotiation strategies to move past conflicts in a relationship, referencing ideas from the book "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In" by Fisher, Ury, and Patton (2011, Penguin). 
At MOSES, Cliff McConville of Dundee, IL, and Ryan Erisman of Sun Prairie, WI, were my volunteers for the brainstorming activity. They talked about how to manage weeds on an organic pasture. For example, Cliff said he likes to mow, hand clip, or (collective gasp in the room) spot spray with glyphosate. Ryan suggested that he would use high density rotational grazing to force his animals to eat and trample the weeds since he would prefer to avoid using chemicals if he had gone to the trouble to make a certified organic pasture. They did a great job of demonstrating brainstorming involving a landowner and farmer. Using this approach can help to diffuse some of the emotions that may come up during a pasture lease negotiation.
We finished the talk by inviting folks to post their opportunities to rent land on our new land linking website, . On that site, you can also find the Grazing Broker Handbook, which describes how to develop contract grazing arrangements that are a win-win for landowners and farmers. By the way, recording of the MOSES talk is available for purchase at .
Over 80 people attended the NW Graziers Conference held March 3, 2018 at the West Denmark Community Center near Luck WI.  The Conference was organized by UW-Extension and the NW Wisconsin Graziers Network (Photo credit: Otto Wiegand).

Thanks to Chele Isaac of Blue Mounds, Amy Fenn of Ferryville, Tom Hunt of Ridgeway, and Wendy Warren for spending a long morning with me the week before the conference to provide feedback on the presentation. 

Don't miss our upcoming 

on April 14, 2018
8:30 - Noon

Belmont Community Building, 222 S. Mound Ave., Belmont

Speakers to include Weed Experts, Mark Renz and Ann Pierce of UW Extension, and board member, Marci Hess on a layperson's guide to prairie restoration. RSVP to 

In This Issue
Welcome Dana Lawrence
SW Badger Sells Tree Protectors
Training beginning farmers to access land, capital, experience
President Hausner receives award
Join Our Mailing List!
SMILE! We are on AmazonSmile!
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that allows you to enjoy the same selection of products, low prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you use 
our AmazonSmile link, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates a portion of your purchase to Southwest Badger! Shop today!

Don't let deer, rodents, or severe weather ruin your reforestation efforts. Use tree shelters to give your trees a fighting chance.
Protect Your Trees, Leave a Legacy
For additional information or to order, email us at
or call (608) 348-7110.

Southwest Badger RC&D is your conservation partner - all sales fund resource conservation in southwest Wisconsin.

Got Land?

If you have land you'd like to rent for grazing,  contact SW Badger Grazing Broker, 
Robert Bauer at (608) 

For additional information,  email Robert at  robert.

Southwest Badger RC&D is your conservation partner .

Conservation Conversations HAPPY HOUR 
April 24, 5 - 7 pm

A new meeting spot called 2nd and Main in Platteville will host Southwest Badger's first in a series of Conservation Conversations Happy Hours!  The purpose of these Happy Hours is to bring together folks from all walks of life that have a common interest - conservation. That can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different folks, so it will be fun to see what transpires!  Don't miss it!


Call Today for an on-site Conservation Assessment and Management Plan

Tyler Dvorak, Stewardship 
Specialist, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
If you own property on the Kickapoo or the Pecatonica watershed, you may request an on-site invasive species, grazing, forestry or other conservation evaluation that may lead to the development of an individualized management plan. The plan will help you determine w hat action, if any, you should take to improve your land and experience greater returns on your investment. E-mail us at or call (608) 348-7110.    

Jeff Jackson, Stewardship 
Specialist, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator

Conservation that Works! 

   Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, Inc. is a conservation and community development organization serving Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, LaCrosse, Lafayette, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties. Our mission is to implement natural resource conservation, managed growth, and sustainable rural economic development in our area. We are a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based out of Platteville, Wisconsin .
      Don Barrett at the Lafayette Co Fair

We have been blessed to have staff members who are flexible and courageous enough to stay on for more than one project term.  We said farewell to Patrick Dayton, Stewardship Forester, in 2015 who had nearly a decade of work with SW Badger.  In 2017 we bid good-bye to Don Barrett who put in over 6 years imparting his expertise to the public. 
Don Barrett demonstrates water quality

 Southwest Badger President, Gene Hausner, Receives Lifetime Achievement Recognition for Conservation Work
Eugene Hausner (Gene) spent 50 years as a Soil Conservationist with NRCS in Wisconsin. Promoted to District and later Area Conservationist providing technical assistance to field staff in 26 counties, Gene furthered the cause of Land & Water Conservation departments throughout the state. He provided assistance in Land management, forestry, and water quality, and being an agronomist, he was deeply involved as an "Undercover Agent" as he called himself due to the large amount of time spent providing advice on cover crops. Helped found 3 RC&Ds in the state to carry out the non-traditional projects that NRCS was not able to address. SW Badger was one of those RC&Ds that he helped start.

Gene founded Southwest Badger RC&D in 1995. He helped write By-laws and artcles of incorporation. Since his retirement in 2007 he has served on SW Badger's board of directors, for a total of 10 years to date, serving as President for the past 3 years. He serves on the Executive Board, Finance Committee and Programs committee. In short, he is there wherever and whenever he is needed. Why does he serve in such a manner? I think because he cares about his neighbors, his community, and the world. More importantly, he recognizes the ways in which humans interacting with the earth can either hurt or help it. He has committed his life to teaching landowners how to interact with the Earth in a beneficiatl manner. Beneficial to the Earth and to humankind alike.
Currently, he also serves in the following capacity:  Spring Green Village Board 17 years
Spring Green Historical Society,  Spring Green Senior Board,  WI Soil & Water Society, Treasurer,  White Tails Unlimited - helping to facilitate annual banquet
FFA Alumni - supporting 1 of 2 schools that has an annual youth fair (similar to a county fair)
WI State Association of RC&Ds, Treasurer,  Volunteer at Sauk County Clean Sweep days.
As a leader at Southwest Badger RC&D he is upbeat, energetic and always willing to give more. Gene is a genuine and respectful man always valuing the opinion of others and considerate of all perspectives. He provides Southwest Badger RC&D with practical, grounded, fair guidance based upon the wisdom gained from over 60 years of serving others.

Mail your contribution to: Southwest Badger RC&D, PO Box 753, Platteville, WI 53818

All gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

We Appreciate Your Support!