The Driftless Farmer

This page is dedicated to the traditional Driftless Farmer who for generations have provided wholesome products to our community.  Through interviews with various local farmers we hope to share ideas and farming methods.
It is sponsored by Kickapoo Stewards.

Hay bails

Vernon Co. farmer blends
traditional methods with
new creative ideas

Mike Mueller

It doesn’t have to be big, expensive and complicated

Father & Son-in-law blend cattle grazing and
perennials into a Crawford County business

Still intv table

Mike and Sue Mueller own Pioneer Gardens Farm in Liberty, WI in Vernon County.  They have a traditional approach to farming but integrate thoughtful and creative modern techniques.  In this series of interviews Mike will explain his unusual approach to solving many of the problems that most farmers have to deal with.

Video - Using inexpensive ‘Sand Dams’ to control land erosion from our unusual weather events.

Video - Raising pigs in a natural setting.

Video - The advantages to using one building to house two animal species.

Mike can be reached at pioneergardens@gmail.com or by his cell: 608-412-0725

Doug Spany and Wandy Peralta farm together on their Wauzeka land.  Wandy grows various berry bushes with grasses between the rows which the cows graze on.  They ship the berries across country. Listen to the interview to hear their optimism, and how they approach farming today in these challenging times.  Play video

Add to our collection of
farming ideas

”If people tell you it can’t be done, talk with someone who is doing it.”  -Doug Spany - Wauzeka

If you or a friend have an interesting traditional farm operation, I would like to interview you.  Please contact Dave Collins at 608-476-2241 or dcollins@mwt.net

Water, Soil, Nutrients & Farming

PRAIRE DU CHIEN – On February 27, Crawford County Farm Bureau is inviting members of the community to come together and learn more about farming in Crawford County.
   The feature guest is Amber Radatz, co-director of Discovery Farms Wisconsin. Amber will provide a presentation that covers water, soil, nutrients and their relationship to farming. After Amber’s presentation, questions will be allowed from the audience.
   To end the evening, Crawford County Farm Bureau will host a panel of farmers from the region that will be moderated by Amber Radatz. Panel members will talk about their farming practices and their efforts to be good stewards of the land. Community members of the audience will be allowed to ask members of the panel questions.
   The event will take place in the little theater at the Prairie du Chien High School starting at 6:00pm. Doors will open at 5:30pm and the public is encouraged to enter at the front entrance by the flagpole.


I want to grow my own food but I can’t find bacon seeds.
 

Free Film Screening + popcorn :) "Need to Grow" 2/2/0 @ 6:30-8:30 Viroqua Food Coop

G mom G kid
Farm conf

Crawford Co. rancher mantains
his grasses to graze cattle
without addition feed

Soil Health & Diversity: Keeping Farms
Economically and Ecologically Sustainable

"Soil Health & Diversity: Keeping Farms Economically and Ecologically Sustainable" will be the topic for special presentations from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore.
   The event is free and open to the public. It will be on the SWTC campus at the Lenz Conference Center, 1800 Bronson Blvd. Light refreshments will be served.
   Scott Mericka of Grass Dairy LLC near Dodgeville and Mike Miles of Anathoth Community Farm near Luck, Wis., will describe how their agri-businesses successfully operate economically while following environmentally beneficial and regenerative practices. Questions and information sharing from the audience will follow each presentation.
   Grass Dairy LLC is a pasture-based dairy managed by two families as a partnership near Dodgeville, including the Uplands Cheese Co. The business milks 200 cross-bred cows and grows crops.
   Mike Miles has been a Catholic worker for 45 years and most of his time has been spent at Anathoth Community Farm near Luck. For the past 12 years he has been a passionate practitioner of regenerative agriculture. The farm raises pastured beef, pork, chicken and eggs using managed intensive grazing.
   Grant County Rural Stewardship is the main sponsor of "Soil Health & Diversity." Co-sponsors include SWTC, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Grant County Farm Bureau, Organic Valley, Crawford Stewardship Project, and the Valley Stewardship Network.

Grazing

Jeff & Susan Robinson of Wauzeka, WI - raise cattle on pasture land.  Jeff is very careful to rotate the cattle to protect his grass.  He claims the hills of Crawford County are better suited for grazing cattle than for crops.

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Home Farm IMG_2246

Mike Sandstrom, Mount Zion, said, “I post to the ebird.org web site everyday.  I got a notification that this Red Headed Woodpecker is rare this time a year.  
   On a side note, there have been two male Turkeys pecking at their reflection on the lower level sliding glass door the past three days. I will keep trying to get a good photo.  So far no luck.”

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