WASI Board of Directors meet in UW-Platteville

November 26, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE-The Wisconsin Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (WASI) Board of Directors held a meeting on Oct. 24 in the Pioneer Student Center on UW-Platteville's campus.

A tour of Pioneer Farm, and lunch in the Pioneer Student Center preceded the meeting.

Dr. Tom Hunt, director of the Pioneer Farm research initiative, gave a powerpoint presentation about Pioneer Farm - its mission, the charge, the installation of flumes and the water sampling process, including rain event graphs. He also described the soon-to-be-built facilities of the ag technology center, living and learning center, swine center and the expansion of the dairy facility.

Doug Knox, nutrient management specialist for the Pioneer Farm, distributed a summary sheet on Pioneer Farm's CNMP, explaining what the federal guidelines require, their nutrient management goals, their concern's and opportunities and recommendations. Doug also gave an overview of the 430-acre farm and the analysis done thus far on the farm.

Jim Vanden Brook, water quality section chief for the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, gave a presentation entitled "Community Directed Resource Management in the Fever River Watershed - A Grant Proposal." The proposal is for $1.3 million from EPA to have the 20 farmers in the Fever River Watershed directly involved with local, state and federal partners in designing their own program to protect the watershed while maintaining profitability. The board decided to submit a letter of support for the project. Timm Johnson, executive director of WASI, reviewed the WASI committee structure that listed the committees, the role of each committee and the members for each committee. He also discussed the budgets for Discovery Farms and Pioneer Farm and the financial commitments made to WASI for next year.

Kevin Beckard reported that the Discovery Farms are doing well, and that they recently acquired a new grant for more than $500,000. Keri Retallick, executive director of the Wisconsin Pork Producers, reported that the National Pork Board developed an Agricultural Technology Evaluation Program to provide an objective and uniform field demonstration process for evaluating agriculture technologies that claim to resolve environmental problems. The next WASI meeting will be held Jan. 15, 2003, in Madison.

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