Social Links Search




4 Easements Protect 361 Acres of Prime Farmland in Wisconsin

4 Easements Protect 361 Acres of Prime Farmland in Wisconsin

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin announced that four agricultural land easements have been closed through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The easements, which were voluntarily enrolled by private landowners, add another 361 acres of preserved farmland to the Milwaukee River Watershed.

The easements were made possible through a strong partnership between farmers, county Land and Water Departments, land trusts, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), and the NRCS.

One of the easements is located on the Lettow family dairy farm in Kewaskum, Wisconsin. The easement protects 64 acres of prime and unique farmland soils, maple-beech woodland, wooded wetland, and a meandering section of Kewaskum Creek. The creek is a tributary of the Milwaukee River, which drains into Lake Michigan.

The Lettows pursued an easement to permanently protect the farmland for their children. They farm approximately 500 acres of crops and milk 100 cows. Half of their acres are certified organic, and they graze their replacement heifers on 20 acres of one of their other farms.

The Lettows have implemented several conservation practices over the years to protect their soil and maintain future productivity for their children. These practices include a nutrient management plan, cover crops, contour farming, buffer strips, no-till, and crop rotations.

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is a unique Farm Bill program that leverages the capabilities and resources of federal, regional, and local partnerships to target assistance where it is most needed. The partnership collaborates in the assistance of protecting, restoring, and enhancing conservation practices on agricultural lands and wetlands through easements.

Partnership is the driving force behind RCPP, according to Ryan Gerlich, Wisconsin NRCS RCPP Coordinator. RCPP uses the strengths of federal and local partners to get conservation on the ground, which benefits producers, the community, and those downstream.

Other members of the Milwaukee River Watershed partnership reflected on the effort involved with closing the four easements through the RCPP program while touring the Lettow farm together.

“The woodlands, the creek, and this active farmland, that's really what Working Soils® [the MMSD farmland easement program] is about,” said David Grusznski, Milwaukee Program Director with The Conservation Fund. “Protecting the natural resources and the farmland all in one property.”

The closing of these four easements is a significant achievement for the Milwaukee River Watershed partnership and for the conservation of agricultural land in Wisconsin. The easements will help to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, and the economic vitality of the region.


Photo Credit: gettyimages-creativenature-nl

Republicans' Focus on Milwaukee Shows Wisconsin Will Be a Crucial State Again in 2024 Republicans' Focus on Milwaukee Shows Wisconsin Will Be a Crucial State Again in 2024
FSA Hiring Program Technicians in Wisconsin FSA Hiring Program Technicians in Wisconsin

Categories: Wisconsin, Sustainable Agriculture

Subscribe to newsletters

Crop News

Rural Lifestyle News

Livestock News

General News

Government & Policy News

National News

Back To Top