Exciting times ahead for LASA

Hello fellow dedicated soil conservation enthusiasts,

As I write this letter I sit here in my office and am thinking about going to turn my furnace on because I’m freezing and for good reason. I look at my thermoeter, it says 42 degrees. Then I think back two days ago when we were finishing our first crop of hay and it was a balmy 85 degrees and sunny. I was thinking: finally it’s the end of May and summer is finally here.

Oh well, looking at the forecast we’ll be back to a little more normal weather in a couple days. We can’t complain too much because we had an exceptional spring as crops were planted in record times and the weather was outstanding all spring.

I would like to get everyone up to speed on what is happening in the world of LASA. We have been busy to say the least and it looks like we are going to have a busy summer ahead of us.

Jason Rowe, one of our LASA members, hosted our first in-person field day in late May and we had roughly two dozen farmers attend. Hats off to Jason for his willingness to host. I think everyone left with more knowledge on no-till and the work Jason is doing. You can read more on his efforts in our cover story.

Jay and Jean Stauffacher hosted our Lafayette County Dairy Breakfast in mid-June at their beautiful Highway Dairy Farm in rural Darlington. We thank everyone for attending the breakfast and to the Stauffacher’s for showcasing their great dairy operation for all to see.

At our July board meeting we will host Doug Thomas from Houston Engineering who will be sharing results from year one of our Pilot Project with those who participated. If you remember, Doug is helping us with our Pilot Project with Grande Cheese and others, which is in its second year. We are eager to keep this project moving throughout the summer. It is an honor to receive the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy national award for “Outstanding Supply Chain Collaboration.” It just goes to show the dedication and forward thinking our members have to make our soil healthier and water cleaner.

Another project we are working on is a member equipment directory. This directory will showcase certain members who may want to rent their equipment or to find fellow farmers to hire for custom work.
Lastly, we are putting plans together for a field day on July 30 and a picnic on August 6. Our trusted friend and UW-Extension agricultural education specialist Josh Kamps, who is also a LASA member, is working hard with our field day committee to finalize plans.

We are very proud of the work we have done here in Lafayette County and I believe we are seeing the fruits of our labor as we have gained nine new members since early last year. Our future looks very bright.

Shoutout to The Nature Conservancy and Steve Richter for the extra effort on their part to offer additional funding for our cost-share program last year, which helped us gain some of our new members. Thank you to Steve and everyone at TNC.

Also, many thanks to Tim Trotter and his staff at Dairy Business Association, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative and Farmers for Sustainable Food for all the help we receive from them for our group. I also want to thank our members for your dedication to make LASA what it is today. Everyone have a great summer and keep on the lookout for more exciting news about LASA.

Sincerely, Jim