Food, Land & Water Conference: Exploring Intersections of Water and Agriculture

Representatives from across the state had plenty of ideas on how to create a vibrant agricultural community in Wisconsin while ensuring clean water throughout the state at the first Food, Land & Water Conference at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake on Oct. 16 and 17.

Beyond the cover crops, manure ordinances, grass swales and biodigesters, the working groups and stakeholders struggled with one question: who is going to pay for this?

There was a general feeling that protection of water quality is invaluable; an expense to be paid without reservation. But it is still an expense and until farmers see economic value in best water quality practices, consumers consider higher prices for the true value of food consumption, or we all foot the bill as taxpayers, the impasse exists.

Attendees heard from a variety of farmers, conservationists, lobbyists and scientists on issues such as groundwater quantity and quality, surface water pollution and preservation of farmland.

“This gathering is a culmination of a brainchild that was initiated by a few of us concerned about how Wisconsin citizens and the organizations they represent have found it difficult to advance the mission of conserving and preserving the state’s most important resource: land and water,” said Tom Lyon, co-chair of the Food Land & Water Project.

At the conference, groups charted the course on Wisconsin’s most prescient agriculture and water quality concerns. Now they will strive to make them a reality.

Read more about the topics discussed at the conference.

Surface Water Standards Set Low Bar

Kewaunee County in Spotlight for Groundwater Concerns

Groundwater Working Group Reveals Complexity of the Problem

Who Pays for Progress on Water Quality?

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