I’ve learned a great deal from this group, made new friends and added farmland preservation to my active conservation efforts. As a landowner with a long history in the area, but little farming knowledge, I feel very fortunate to have found the Uplands group.”
About the Farm
Nan's farm is located at 4746 County Highway ZZ on Pleasant
Ridge, at nearly the highest point in Iowa County with a view that
extends beyond the Wisconsin River. Springs feeding the Rush Creek
Watershed, a class 1 trout stream, rise in one of its valleys. The entire
property (~150 acres) is protected by a conservation easement held
by the Driftless Area Land Conservancy to maintain its current uses in
perpetuity. The fields (~40acres) are farmed on contour strips in an
organic rotation of alfalfa, corn and small grains including spelt, rye,
barley and oats. Ten acres of fallow fields are being managed as
grassland habitat. The rest of the property is managed to provide
high quality wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities; invasive
species are being also being actively managed. A small prairie is
also being established with plantings for native pollinators throughout
the flowering season.
On describing her land and her involvement with this group, Nan said the following:
"In 2016, when I took over the 'farm' that members of my family have enjoyed since 1963, my primary goal was to protect the land from development, which I’ve done with a conservation easement. Having grown up with the Leopold “land ethic”, I also wanted be a good steward of the habitat in its woodlands and continue the regenerative agriculture in its organically farmed fields. It didn’t take long to discover the Uplands Watershed group of farmers in the neighborhood who were meeting regularly to share information and experiences as they actively manage their lands and practices to reduce erosion and build soil health on the steep ground of the Driftless Area. I’ve learned a great deal from this group, made new friends and added farmland preservation to my active conservation efforts. As a landowner with a long history in the area, but little farming knowledge, I feel very fortunate to have found the Uplands group."
The following conservation practices are used on her land:
Managed Forest Law
This program encourage sustainable forestry practices, including timber stand improvement and occasional harvests.
A tax credit program administrated by the county that, like the conservation easement, preserves land for future agricultural use and protects it from development. A nutrient management program has been developed for the 35 acres currently under cultivation.
Conservation Stewardship Program
Administered by the USDA/NRCS, this program encourages a conservation plan for land. On this property, the focus is on forest stand improvement primarily because the agricultural and fallow lands are already providing valuable ecosystem services. When implemented on this property, it augments MFL with a focus on improving habitat in a particular area by removing invasive species in addition to improving the timber stand.