Sustainable Agriculture

For Farmers, Ranchers, and Landowners


  • GREAT NEWS!! North Crawford Community Pastures Program


Started in 2023 with grant funding, North Crawford Community Pastures Program provides a hands-on learning opportunity for students of North Crawford School District. The program allows for a flock of sheep to graze on school grounds and demonstrates the positive impact that grazing animals can have on our landscape. The program looks to improve upon its impact by developing curriculum opportunities for agriculture educators at North Crawford and the surrounding area so as to take full advantage of the grazing flock of sheep. We have many people and organizations to thank for grant funding and donations. Food, Faith, and Farming Network, Wisconsin Rural Coalition, Wisconsin Farmers Union Foundation, and North Central SARE have all been grant donors. Solar Town Farm and Home, Royal Bank, People’s State Bank, and Great River Graziers have all made generous donations in order to bring this project to life! Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers who continue to make this project possible!

A new USDA, tailored web tool designed to connect farm entrepreneurs with programs and resources available to help them get started.
The site features advice and guidance on everything a new farm business owner needs to know, from writing a business plan, to obtaining a loan to grow their business, to filing taxes as a new small business owner. Using the site’s Discovery Tool, farmers can build a personalized set of recommendations of USDA programs and services that may meet their needs.

The Fund-a-Farmer Project, a project of Food Animal Concerns Trust, awards grants for projects that help family farmers transition to pasture-based systems, improve the marketing of their humane products, or more generally to enrich the conditions in which the farm animals are raised. Together with our farmer partners, we are leading our country back to a food system that is both financially and ecologically sustainable.

NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.
Farmer Rancher grants have funded a variety of topics including pest/disease management, crop and livestock production, education/outreach, networking, quality of life issues, marketing, soil quality, energy, and more.
– Farmer Rancher grants individual ($7,500 maximum), partner ($15,000 maximum), or group ($22,500 maximum) grants for      ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers.
– Projects may last up to 22 months.
– About 50 projects are funded each year.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts up to a maximum term of ten years in length. These contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. In addition, a purpose of EQIP is to help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations.

Are you a beginning farmer looking to rent or purchase farmland in the Midwest? Or are you an established farmer/landowner in the Midwest who is seeking a beginning farmer to purchase or rent your land, or to work with in a partnership situation?
Then check out LSP’s Seeking Farmers-Seeking Land Clearinghouse for the latest listings and for details on getting your own listing posted.

To know what we should aim for, it helps to know what was there before. This study includes wonderful maps of what the pre-European Driftless landscape consisted of. As it turns out, largely oak savannah!

With conservation options and stipulations

With less than five months remaining in the current fiscal year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) still has nearly one billion dollars available for farm loans to help family farmers across the country buy land. For new farmers out there, if you’ve been looking for farmland in your area and have been searching for ways to help finance the purchase, check out FSA farm loans to see if they meet your needs. Check out NSAC’s Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs for more information on FSA farm loans, including eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Let’s make food production sustainable and community friendly world-wide

Holistic Mangaged Grazing

Grassworks has tons of free resources on grass-based farming systems.

Please also refer to our Resources page.


Industrial Agriculture

At their regularly scheduled meeting on February 20th 2018, the Crawford County Board of Supervisors took up and unanimously passed a resolution urging the State of Wisconsin to recognize southwestern Wisconsin’s karstic geography and sensitivities of groundwater to pollution. This resolution also urged the state improve the oversight of the DNR’s Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) program. See the resolution here.

Industrial Ag in the Driftless: How do we protect our communities? (forum held on 01/20/2018)

When Industrial Farming meets Karst Geology – Kewaunee County

Industrial Dairies in Kewaunee County The Regulatory Failure of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: A Threat to Public Health and the Environment

Great information from one of the areas most hard hit by factory farms.

Many quality peer reviewed documents on many aspects of industrialized animal production

Good short factsheets on CAFOs, what they are, and how they operate.

Local letter from Gene Pulera (Richmond Township, Walworth County) with a proposal made to the DNR to ban center pivot liquid manure “irrigation” systems until the health issues are explored

These are series of investigative articles concerning factory farms by Ron Seely, published in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Big Agribusiness’s Political Dominance in Madison and Its Impact on Our Waterways Wisconsin Environment Research and Police Center (2014)

The Need for Global Solutions
The Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission (2013)

Investigating the Role of State Permitting and Agriculture Agencies in Addressing Public Health Concerns Related to Industrial Food Animal Production Johns Hopkins Center for a Liveable Future (2014)

Read essays, see images, and learn what you can do to change the food system for the better on the website for this powerful book (all 400 pages of which can be yours for a mere $50).

– A Controversial Animal Feed Additive Gets a Closer Look – Dispute Over Drug in Feed Limiting US Meat Exports
– Milk and Water Don’t Mix – How a chain-smoking Texan forced the New Mexico dairy industry to clean up its act

The Meatrix website offers information on the issues surrounding factory farming:, The Meatrix Interactive 360°, a tool to help people learn about factory farming, with in depth information on the issues; Animated movies – humorous and creative satires that use pop culture and entertainment to educate viewers about the food they eat and where it comes from; and The Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainable food from farms, stores and restaurants in North America, which was launched with the original movie to help people take action.

Grace Communications Foundation highlights the interconnections of food, water, and energy, educating consumers, advocates, and policy makers through web-based initiatives.

US and State Maps of concentrations of CAFOs, plus interesting facts.