Watershed Leaders Network

Upper Sugar River Watershed

Farmers for the Upper Sugar River

Who are the Farmers for the Upper Sugar River Watershed?

Farmers for the Sugar River members learn about a variety of topics at their field days, including the importance of soil health. At a recent field day, Dr. Francisco Arriaga from UW-Extension (front left) talked about limiting soil compaction and ways farmers can reduce compaction in their fields.

In 2016, five farmers in the Upper Sugar River Watershed came together to form the farmer-led group ‘Farmers for the Upper Sugar River’ as a way of maintaining and improving water quality in the watershed. Today, the group has grown to 44 member farmers, representing over 11,000 agricultural acres in the watershed.

The group hosts Annual Meetings in February to talk about what the group accomplished over the past 12 months, and have guest speakers like ag retailers, DNR representatives, or farmers from around Wisconsin.

The group holds monthly meetings, hosts field days, performs in-stream phosphorus testing, and provides cost-share dollars to farmers who wish to try new conservation enhancements on their farms such as; cover crops, equipment rental for no-till or manure injection. Through working with the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association, the group has raised over $130,000 from grants and corporate donations, used primarily to fund the cost-share program for area farmers.

Farmers for the Upper Sugar River hosts monthly meetings to stay connected on what other farmers are doing and get ideas on how to improve their operations.