The Healthy Soil Healthy Water Group started back in the summer of 2015 as the Non-Point Source task force. Concern about the way Dodge County's soil conservation and water quality arose and two suggested ordinances were brought up to the Land Conservation Committee. The first ordinance was a restriction on winter spreading of manure while the second ordinance was a mandatory buffer on all streams and creeks. Neither of these ordinances successfully passed, however, the Land Conservation Committee charged the County Conservationist at that time, Marc Beothke to start a group comprised of lake representatives and farmers that would work together to help alleviate the issues that were stressed by both sides of the topic.
At first, the group made no ground on the subject. Most meetings consisted of finger pointing and accusations. However, several of these individuals, both with the lake groups and with the farmers, kept coming back, meeting after meeting. This went on until finally, the group found a common ground. Soil Health. The idea of trying to keep soil on the farm to both help provide sustainability for the farmer and improved water quality for the lake groups was an appealing concept for all.
From that moment on, the two groups, with the support of crop consultants, Wisconsin DNR, UW- Extensions, and Land Conservation, began to work together to educate their peers on how soil health isn't just the responsibility nor for the benefit of just one group of individuals. Instead soil health is the responsibility and for the benefit of everyone.
The Healthy Soil Healthy Water Farmers/Alliance Groups continue to help educate and support soil health and water quality to this day and look forward to conmaking a difference in our county.