Producer-Led Webinar Series

Hosted by DATCP and Discovery FarmsThis webinar series,  covers a range of conservation topics that producer-led groups around the state are focusing on. Each webinar will include the farmer’s perspective and will have time for plenty of Q&A and discussion. Goals: 1.Facilitate farmer exchange to problem solve, try new things and innovate 2.Provide space for farmers and partners to ask questions about the DATCP program 3.Collect information about what is working, what is challenging, and what practices are being tried 4. Provide resources for farmer-led groups 5.Evaluate the success of the webinars through surveys and interactive webinars.

To see details about upcoming webinars, visit: 


Interseeding rye into standing soybeans

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Listen to the first Producer-Led Webinar! In this episode, we chat with Brian Maliszewski from the Buffalo Trempealeau Farmer Network about interseeding rye into standing soybeans. Brian, his wife Sara and their son Bennett live on their farm near Independence, WI which operates 600 head of beef and 2500 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa and cover crops.

Tune in to learn why Brian started this practice, what drivers lead to a successful stand of rye and more about the agronomics and economics of the practice Brian also shares aspects of the Buffalo Trempealeau Farmer Network, his producer-led group, which is located in the hilly terrain of the Driftless Region of Wisconsin.

Planting corn into standing rye

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In this episode we hear from Tony Peirick from the Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soils-Healthy Waters about planting corn into standing rye. Tony owns and operates T n R Dairy with his brother, their sons and their families in Southern Dodge County.

Hear why Tony began planting his corn into standing rye five years ago and how they make this practice successful from the equipment, herbicide program, seeding rates, timing and more. Tony is the President of the Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soils-Healthy Waters and in the second half of this podcast, he shares what makes their group tick.

Growing alternative forages

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Alternative forages including sorghum sudan, triticale and rye cover crops have provided conservation, soil heath and feed benefits for Tony Brey’s dairy farm in Northeastern WI. Tony of Brey Cycle Farm LLC is an active member of Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door Kewaunee Demonstration Netowrk.

Listen to this recording where Barry Bubolz of the Natural Resource Conservation Service interviews Tony about his experiences with alternative forages including why they started, manure spreading opportunities, planting logistics, herbicide program and the many benefits they have seen over the last five years.

Increasing profitability with precision agriculture

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Have you heard of sub-field precision agriculture? Listen here to Jeff Lake, a farmer in Boyceville, WI about this practice and how it has converted red acres (profit loss) to green acres (profit gain) on his farm. Jeff works with Scott Stipetech at Pheasants Forever to map and plan his acres using precision ag technology. They then make strategic management decisions to adjust practices on acres that have consistently been losing profit. This has benefitted area wildlife as well as the farm’s wallet.

Jeff is a member of the Hay River Farmer-Led Watershed Council, in the second half of the webinar, he shares ways the group has put conservation solutions into action around their watershed and how they have had fun doing it. The Lake Family was the recipient 2019 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award.

Hosting virtual events and other planning tools for 2020

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Wondering how to continue your Producer-Led Group’s outreach and education safely in 2020? This webinar is just what you need. Hear tips and creative strategies for hosting events. Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • Hosting events virtually using Zoom and Facebook Live- Maggie Norton, Farmer Outreach Coordinator, Practical Farmers of Iowa. Links to Maggie’s resources are below!

  • Highlights from a drive-by cover crop field day- Josh Kamps, Lafayette County Division of Extension Ag Educator and member of the Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance
  • Video Production Quick Tips- Whitney Prestby, Division of Extension Natural Resources Educator and Outreach Specialist for the Fox Demo Farms and the Door Kewaunee Demo Farms

No-tilling into heavy red clay

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Matt Winker and his wife Sarah milk 100 cows in Belgium, WI. They have been no-tilling into the heavy red clay soils that make-up their farmland for 7 years. Hear how Matt has made the impossible, possible and about other conservation practices that have worked on their farm like interseeding and planting green using a roller-crimper.

Andy Holschbach of the Ozaukee County Land and Water Management Department interviews Matt about being a member of the Ozaukee County Demonstration Farms Network and shares what the Milwaukee River Clean Farms Families Producer-Led Group is up to this summer.

Nitrogen managment: N crediting from irrigation water and cover crops

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On this episode, we are #LIVEfromtheField with Matt Hintz a member of Farmers of Tomorrow. Ken Schroeder, Division of Extension, interviews Matt about ways he is recycling nitrogen in his conservation system through irrigation water and growing cover crops after vegetable crops and small grains.

No-till, 60 in” corn and grazing covers

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LIVE from the field with Kelby Lechleitner and Matt Oehmichen. Kelby is a farmer and member of the Eau Pleine Partnership for Integrated Conservation Producer-Led Group. He has experimented with interseeding covers into 60″ corn as well as 30/60″ coupled test plots. This fall he is grazing the cover crops with his beef cattle. Matt, EPPIC Member and Specialist at Short Lane Ag, will interview Kelby and share his own insights on the trials and other cover crop information.

Fall and winter grazing techniques

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November’s webinar will feature a discussion between Serge Koenig from Sauk County Land Resources and Environment and farmer Roman Miller from Sauk Soil and Water Improvement Group (SSWIG)  about bale grazing and stockpiling forage as part of a managed grazing operation.   Roman operates a 230-acre grass-fed beef operation near Rock Springs in Southwestern Wisconsin.  Through talking with other SSWIG group members, he’s integrated new bale grazing techniques to better distribute nutrients across his outwintering field. He also experimented with planting a sorghum- Sudangrass mix to graze late into the season.  These are timely topics as we head into the winter months; join us for the discussion!

 Soil Health Partnership 

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This webinar features Jim Isermann of the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) as well as two farmers, Dan Roehrborn and Nick Klei, who participate both in the SHP and in DATCP’s Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant program. The SHP has built a farmer-to-farmer network to explore the economic and environmental benefits and risks of soil health practices. SHP collects on-farm data to evaluate the impacts of soil health practices on the soil, the environment, and the farmer’s bottom line. 

Dan and Nick will share their experiences working with SHP and what they’ve learned about various soil health practices so far. Jim will cover how to get involved and what SHP has learned through its data collection efforts.

Dan and Nick will close out the webinar by discussing their experiences working with the Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers producer-led group and how these two projects work together.

Conservation in the field and in the classroom

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John and Melissa Eron, farmers from Portage County and also 2020 recipients of the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award, discuss some of the innovative conservation practices they’re doing on their own farm, the producer-led group’s youth education efforts that have been really successful so far and also talk about the Farmers of Mill Creek producer-led group overall. Tracey Arnold with the Portage County Land and Water Conservation Department join John and Melissa to share her work and experiences working with the Farmers of Mill Creek and youth in the area as well.