Bula’s Pleasant Valley Farm to Host WiWiC Field Day

Wisconsin Women in Conservation(WiWiC) is kicking off their 2024 Field Day series with a farm tour and dinner at Bula’s Pleasant Valley Farm in Baraboo on June 10, from 2:30 to 6pm. The event is for all women growers, landowners, farmers, farm workers, land managers and conservation professionals. Participants will learn about soil health and water conservation practices they can use to improve their outcomes. They will also learn about potential opportunities to design and fund those practices. The event is free but pre-registration is necessary, for planning purposes, at WiWiC.org.

Event hosts are Maureen Bula, her daughter Justine Bula, and Allison Crook, WiWiC Central Region Coordinator. Dinner will be provided by The Relish Tray Bistro and Catering featuring foods grown on the farm. This inlcudes beef sliders and a variety of veggie-forward dishes based on what is in season.

“If you are curious about sustainable, organic farming practices, this is the field day for you! Maureen has progressed through various models of production, from conventional, to organic, to what is now termed as regenerative,” says Crook, who organized the event. “Maureen is the Sauk County Conservation Coach for the WiWiC project and has been instrumental in implementing conservation practices on the land. You will get to hear from her on why conservation is so important to this family, and how they have prioritized this work on the family farm.”

Maureen grew up in Madison and was a teacher for 31 years in Baraboo. She is married to Ron and together with their two children, Patrick, and Justine, they built their farm in the Baraboo hills. Maureen has gardened her entire adult life, and her passion is her no-till gardens. The family rotationally grazes beef cattle and sheep as well as laying hens and broilers. They raise Berkshire pork and keep bees for honey. In the late winter months we tap over 200 maple trees to make syrup. They sell goods at farmers market, as well as their new on-farm store.

“To produce good, nutritious food, we need healthy soil,” says Maureen Bula. “As caregivers, women take care of others. As farmers and women, we need to care for the soil and the Earth.”

The goal of the event is to explore practices that can improve soil quality, crop resilience, water conservation and success in gardens and crops, regardless of size. Participants will be able to tour the Bula’s rotational grazing operation, silvopasture, forest management, and gardens. Local conservation professionals will be available to meet participants and talk about the many county and federal programs available to support private conservation efforts. These include technical design assistance and cost share funding for high tunnels, raised beds, irrigation, cover crops, compost facilities, pollinator plantings, green energy, and other practices.

Sauk County Land Resources & Environment Conservation Manager Melissa Schlupp will also be at the event. Schlupp has been working with private landowners to install conservation practices on their land since 2007. She has worked with several conservation organizations including Wisconsin and Iowa DNR, Pheasants Forever, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Sauk County cost share programs offer opportunities for landowners to incorporate soil health practices on their farm,” says Schlupp. “Additionally, we offer technical assistance to help guide landowners through all aspects of implementing conservation practices on their land.”