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New Source of Advice for Wisconsin Farmers, Landowners

Helping set goals for farm production systems and conservation planning are elements of a new service offered by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. (Jessica Arp)
Helping set goals for farm production systems and conservation planning are elements of a new service offered by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. (Jessica Arp)
October 23, 2017

EAST TROY, Wis. – The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy has launched a Conservation Planning and Sustainability Consulting Service for farmers and other landowners.

The new service is the result of the institute facing increased demand for information on how best to manage land, says Pat Murphy, a Certified Crop Adviser who provides the service. He offers advice on best practices and conservation techniques for healthy soil, water and wildlife.

"We've had several landowners kind of looking for that range of basic planning assistance, so that they can get a sense of what resources they have on their farm or their land that they manage or own, and then, what alternatives or options they might be able to pursue, as far as restoring the land or starting an organic farm operation," Murphy explains.

Another reason for providing the new service is that public agencies that typically do this kind of work are now operating with reduced staff, according to Murphy.

"They have more expectations of specific programs and mandates that they have to handle, so in some cases, if a client or landowner calls for help, that staff would love to get out there and work with them, but it's just not the first thing that they're able to get to," he points out.

Murphy also cites a trend toward more specialization.

"Prior years, conservation planners were expected to have a broader range of knowledge, where in the present day, a lot of the planning is much more specialized,” he states. “It may not cover wildlife land, forest land, natural areas and cropland, all on the same farm."

Murphy says he'll help participants set goals for their farm production systems and provide conservation planning alternatives to help achieve the goals.


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI