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Serving: WI

Develop a plan for managing your farm or rural property

Develop a plan for managing your farm or rural property
Farm planning workshop planned Feb. 7 in Dodgeville

Everyone who owns rural land--both farmers and non-farming landowners--will benefit from a whole farm planning workshop to be held on Saturday, Feb. 7 in Dodgeville. The whole farm planning process helps landowners assess their land's natural resources along with its production capacity. It provides a means of bringing all of the pieces together in an integrated management plan to achieve financial, production, and land stewardship goals.

Participants in the Feb. 7 workshop will be introduced to the framework for whole farm planning as well as gain knowledge of financial and legal matters, identifying and managing natural resources, and using managed grazing as a conservation practice.

"As we've worked with landowners on managing their grasslands, many have expressed interest in a more comprehensive program to help them understand and manage their whole property," said Laura Paine Southwest Badger Grazing Broker and coordinator of the workshop.

"Although these plans are often called "farm" plans, any piece of land, whether it is currently being farmed or not, would benefit," added Paine. "Every property is a unique combination of hills, valleys, streams, springs, forests and open land, each needing site-specific management."

Participants in the Feb. 7 workshop will be introduced to the framework for whole farm planning as well as gain knowledge of financial and legal matters, identifying and managing natural resources, and using managed grazing as a conservation practice. Southwest Badger is launching a whole farm planning service (fee-based). Landowners will learn more about the service and opportunities to write their own plan, if desired.

The program begins at 9 am with an overview of the whole farm planning process followed by a three track breakout series covering a total of nine topics. An economics/legal track will include presentations on use value property tax assessment, understanding lease agreements, and whole farm income options. A natural resources track will cover assessing native habitats, cropping practices that promote soil health, and protecting your land investment with estate planning and conservation easements. The third track will focus on managing pastures and grasslands including using livestock grazing for vegetation management, silvopasturing, and fencing and watering for livestock.

Dave Vetrano, a long-time DNR fisheries biologist now retired, will wrap up the workshop with a presentation on the natural and human history of Wisconsin's Driftless area. "Dave's presentation provides us with context: a way to understand how our properties came to be the way they are and what we need to do to manage for long-term land health," said Paine.

Registration for the workshop is $15 ($10 for the second person from the same household). Lunch is provided and a vendor area will be set up with related companies and organizations participating. For more information or to sign up for the workshop, contact Laura Paine, Southwest Badger RC&D, 138 South Iowa Street, Dodgeville, WI 53533, [email protected], 608-732-1202.

Source: Southwest Badger RC&D

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