Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County to Expand Partnership with Farm Families to Help Clean Up Area Lakes, Waterways

August 29, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive



New Grant Program Will Help Implement Runoff Reduction Solutions That Have Prevented 850 Tons of Algae Per Year from Forming in Area Lakes


Dane County is expanding the successful partnership between the county and farm families that is helping to clean up area lakes and waterways, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


The county is offering $750,000 in grant money for farm families who are looking to implement critical phosphorus runoff reduction practices on their land.  Eligible practices include wetland restoration; constructing manure storage facilities and roofs over animal feeding areas; installing stormwater control basins, and more.


“Our farm families are key leaders in the unprecedented community effort underway to clean up our lakes,” said Parisi.   “This new program builds on our great partnership and will help us implement even more low-cost, high-result solutions that keep water where it lands and greatly reduces the amount of algae causing phosphorus that enters our lakes and waterways.”

The county has partnered with farm families for decades to implement phosphorus reduction strategies on their land.  Projects installed between 2008 and 2012 have stopped 3,438 pounds of phosphorus from entering area waterways and prevented 850 tons of algae from forming in our lakes.  One pound of phosphorus reduced prevents 500 pounds of algae from forming.


"The Yahara Pride Farms Conservation Board would like to thank Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department for developing this new grant program to assist farmers in protecting our lakes and streams," said Bob Uphoff, a Town of Dunn farmer.  "This is a great  opportunity for the farmers in the Yahara Watershed to strengthen their already  progressive land conservation efforts to improve water quality in Dane County.  We look forward to continue our  work with Dane County to help farmers advance their conservation practices."


The new grant program will make it even easier for families to participate. 


Most eligible projects will receive a 90% cost share from the county, with preference given to farms in the Dorn Creek/Six Mile Creek watershed that encompasses the Village of Waunakee, Town of Westport, and most of the Town of Springfield outside of the City of Middleton. 


This area is an important phosphorus reduction target and the location of the Yahara WINs adaptive management pilot area.  Yahara WINs is made up of 30 partners that include government entities such as the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and local governments, to non-profits such as Clean Wisconsin and the Clean Lakes Alliance.


“By partnering with farmers, Dane County continues to employ smart budget strategies in our pursuit of cleaner, clearer lakes,” said Supervisor Sharon Corrigan.  “I supported including these cost-effective effective grants in the 2013 budget and look forward to expanding sustainable runoff reduction practices to more farms.”


Applications are being accepted now and will be awarded until grant funding are exhausted.  Those who are interested in more information or in applying are encouraged to contact Dane County Land Conservation 608.224.3730 or


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