WiWiC Kicks Off Field Day Series

Wisconsin Women in Conservation (WiWiC) is kicking off a series of five summer field days with a Pasture Walk and Talk at Blue Ox Farm in Wheeler on June 1 from 3-6pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided and children are welcome to attend. Attendance is free but registration is required at WiWiC.org under Events. 

The event will be hosted by WiWiC Conservation Coach Lauren Langworthy, who owns Blue Ox Farm with husband Caleb. They raise grass-fed sheep, sell lamb, and have a small beef herd doing restoration work on their 153-acre farm. The couple has worked extensively with the Natural US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement several conservation projects, with a special focus on grazing. Representatives from NRCS and other conservation agencies will be on hand to talk about opportunities for landowners to receive technical assistance and funding for similar projects.

“From a young age, I enjoyed caring for wildlife, being outdoors, and cultivating community. I remember long summer days visiting my grandparents’ farm in South Central Minnesota, but never expected that farming would become my own way of life,” says Langworthy, who previously worked at UW Extension 4-H and with the Master Gardeners program before starting the farm with her husband. She is currently the director of special projects for Wisconsin Farmers Union. “Our style of farming allows me to use my fascination with biology to provide animal health care and act as “flock midwife” during lambing. I enjoy the quirks of animal psychology and love fiber arts. Even more, I love to wander the outdoors while moving fences – listening to the symphony of wildlife mixed with the munching of happy animals. I enjoy rumination as much as our resident ruminants.”

Langworthy’s advice to young women starting out in sustainable agriculture is to start small: 

“It is perfectly acceptable to start small and build toward your ideal. It can feel absolutely overwhelming to bring mistreated land back into health. It can feel financially or socially impossible to go from where you are to where you want to be. Don’t let the idea of “perfect” get between you and all of the small improvements you can make. One small intervention or success can start a snowball into years of achievable shifts that will ultimately bring about decades of improvement. Starting “small” and “now” will bring about so much more positive change than waiting until you can implement your ideal.”

This event is focused on women (all those who identify as such) farmers, landowners, conservation educators, and conservation supporters.

2023 WiWiC Field Days

June 1, Blue Ox Farm, Wheeler, 3-6pm

June 23, Keewaydin Farms, Viola, 1-5pm

June 30, Humble Pie Farm, Plum City, 1-4:30pm

July 12, Our Thunder Moon Farm, Oneida, 5-8:30pm

Milwaukee Urban Farm Tour, TBD

WiWiC is a state-wide collaborative effort led by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in partnership with Wisconsin Farmers Union, Renewing the Countryside and Marbleseed (formerly MOSES).  A five-year multi-faceted project funded by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), WiWiC brings together Wisconsin women landowners to connect and learn about conservation practices, resources, and funding opportunities.

In addition to Field Days, WiWiC also provides mentorship to women landowners, farmers, and urban growers who want to increase conservation practices – and free professionally-prepared Conservation Plans. Interested parties can subscribe to a statewide listserv,  “The Buzz” monthly newsletter and the “Queen Bee Sessions” podcast on the website as well.