Who We Are

The Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County (WPCR) consists of a group of local farmers leading efforts in erosion control, water and soil quality improvements, and providing information to farmers and rural landowners on conservation practices. 

WPCR aims to accomplish these goals through incentive, research, and education programs. Through their efforts, WPCR has helped implement nearly 20 acres of waterway buffers and over 600 acres of cover crops in Racine County. 

Establish growing conservation knowledge to improve land and water quality

Our Mission

The Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County works collaboratively on a producer led water quality protection project in the Eagle Creek, Hoosier Creek, Wind Lake Drainage Canal, West Branch Root River Canal, Village of Union Grove West Branch Root River Canal and Goose Lake Branch Canal watersheds to achieve improved water quality. The WPCR will lead these efforts by reaching out to farmers and providing incentive payments for conservation practices to promote soil and water health. 

 

Meet the Committee

WPCR has members who have varying types of farming operations. Each brings a unique perspective and understanding of conservation practices. 

Tom Greil

Chairperson

Tom works to be a better steward of the soil as he uses soil health to increase profitability. As part of the group, he hopes to learn more about how soil health continues to impact our water quality. 

Brian Gunderson

Vice Chairperson

Brian has utilized no-till practices on his farm since 1982 and has been using 100% no-till for over 30 years. Exploring cover crop usage has continued to drive the soil health on his farm. He continues to learn and grow while giving back to the land that has provided his family much. 

Anthony Beck

Treasurer

Anthony and his brother, Andy, continue to develop their farming operation as they explore the use of cover crops to improve soil health and further reduce erosion.

Jon Bird

Jon utilizes no-till and grassed buffers to benefit his operation. As he learns more about the importance of cover crops, he looks to learn what kind and what rate cover crops should be planted at. 

Andy Beck

Andy and his brother, Anthony, switched to 100% no-till practices 2002. Operational goals include less inputs, less soil runoff, and increased growth of soil structure.

Tom Burlingham

Tom is dedicated to soil heath and cover. He has been using no-till since 1982 and has been planting cover crops for 15 years. He believes there is an exciting opportunity to learn from the different unknowns of using conservation practices. 

Jim Halladay

Jim has focused his conservation efforts to help with erosion and build soil health. As he continues to make operational decisions, he’s excited to learn about current best practices.  

John Holloway

John serves as an unofficial coordinator for projects to maintain the agricultural drainage canal that feeds into the Town of Paris. He understands the importance of improving the soil and water health in the area. His understanding of how landowners’ decisions in the canal region impact the overall health of the environment continues to develop. 

Austin Liles

Austin is a young farmer learning from his uncle, Michael Stever. He is excited to continue his conservation efforts to not only improve the environment, but also continue to grow the profitability of his operation. With this group, he’s excited to help inform people of conservation farming practices that they can utilize.

Adam Lasch

Adam is a leader in conservation efforts throughout southeastern Wisconsin. His wife and he are trying to increase their farm’s resiliency through good stewardship practices that not only increase their profitability but also forage, water, and soil health.

John Napientek

John understands current weather patterns and rain events impact farming tremendously. And while farming has developed over the years, there is still room to share ideas from cover crops to no-till and utilize soil to protect our environment. 

Charles Mealy

Charles has utilized no-till practices to reduce erosion and improve soil health on his farm. As he continues to learn more about conservation efforts, he is excited to explore the best way to incorporate cover crops into his farm. 

Michael Stever

Michael is motivated by previous success he has had with cover crops and no-till practices. He is excited to share in the success he has had with other farmers so they too can find success in conservation efforts. 

John Vyvyan

John knows that his farm’s drainage directly impacts not only small waterways in the area, but also larger bodies of water including Lake Michigan. Making decisions that controls runoff for his farm is essential for the health of these waterways.

Al Wilks

Al continues to use grassed buffer strips and cover crops along waterways to stop erosion and protect waterways as best as possible. 

Collaborators

The success of WPCR would not be possible without the efforts of various collaborators. Strong working relationships exist with the following agencies/individuals: 

Racine County Land Conservation Committee and Staff

USDA Farm Service Agency

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

University of Wisconsin - Extension

WI DATCP

Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County

The Watershed Protection Committee of Racine County (WPCR) consists of a group of local farmers leading efforts in erosion control, water and soil quality improvements, and providing information to farmers and rural landowners on conservation practices. 

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