Parisi: Focus On Water Quality And Partnerships

Despite the fact that he’ll be leaving office in 2024, Dane County Executive Director, Joe Parisi, is staying focused on projects that kept him a part of public service since 2011 in this role. In September, he announced that Dane County would join USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the University of Wisconsin—Madison in the Dane Demo Farm Network. The goal of the project as announced, was a multi-year initiative. Farms participating in the Dane Demo Farm Network will conduct on-farm research focused on answering questions that farmers in Dane County have regarding a variety of crop management conservation practices, in an effort to break down barriers to implementation and help mitigate risk to the farmer. It’s just another partnership that shows Parisi’s dedication to continuing to build bridges with farmers and rural communities instead of applying regulations.

As part of the collaboration, Dane County has allocated funds to install and maintain six edge of field monitoring stations that will capture real-time runoff information, which will be used to quantify the effectiveness of various conservation practices. The network is the first of its kind in the Mississippi River basin. The demo farms will support farmer-to-farmer learning and host field days and tours to share demonstrations and current research. The demo farms hope to collaborate with farmers, agribusiness, resource professionals, and other stakeholders.

Although this framework is in place, it will take commitment by the next executive director and the Dane County Board to maintain the relationships. Parisi sat down with Pam Jahnke to recap what many may have overlooked about his willingness to collaborate with area farmers and agribusinesses.