LASA forging ahead through 2020

Hello friends of LASA,

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Little did we know in a few short days after our successful LASA annual meeting in late February that our worlds would be turned upside down. The last couple of months have been a real struggle for all of us with the fear of the virus, farm prices dropping drastically, plus the overall financial burden it has put on our country and our farms.

As hard as it is to forget the last couple of months I think it’s time to set our sights on the rest of 2020 and see how we can add more value to our members through opportunities to be engaged with LASA.

After a couple of dismal springs, we were blessed with great weather this spring for applying nutrients to our fields, getting seeding and corn planting done in a timely matter. As I write this, first crop hay is being harvested and our growing crops are looking fantastic, so let’s hope we have a great growing season too.

We got some bittersweet news a few weeks ago that Paige Frautschy was leaving to go back home to Iowa and continue working for The Nature Conservancy. Paige was extremely valuable to our group and we are going to miss her terribly.

Now let’s get to what’s new for LASA. We are hoping to meet face to face for our June board meeting to plan activities for the rest of the year. We have very exciting news: We have started a pilot project with Grande Cheese, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and other partners that will be a huge benefit for our group in tracking sustainability from an environmental and financial perspective. See the back page of the newsletter for more details.

We are also eagerly awaiting the results of our member surveys. See the side column on this page for a summary of our results, but we will have more details on the impact of our practices soon.

Of course, our big event for the summer is always our field day, but with the pandemic and questions about public events, we will have to see how June and July turn out. We are hopeful we can hold some type of an event in August.

Also, the SWIGG study is winding down and we are awaiting final results. As you know, we have a vested interest in this study.

Despite the pandemic, we have lots of good projects continuing and we look forward to keeping them on track no matter what challenges we face.

I hope everyone stays safe and healthy this summer and I hope to see you soon.