Announcing our 2019
Clean Lakes Community Awards Winners
On December 3rd, 2019 Clean Lakes Alliance honored seven outstanding individuals and groups at the Clean Lakes Community Awards. This event, presented by Town Bank, recognizes the accomplishments of individuals, volunteers, businesses, farmers, and other entities working to protect our Yahara lakes.
As farmers across the area rush to get crops out of the fields, wet soil continues to slow this season’s harvest. In many cases, the wet soil made it impossible for farmers to get large trucks and trailers into the fields. As a result, farm equipment continues to be parked and loaded on the road.
“The rain and snow we experienced this fall has delayed the harvest by almost two months. When farmers are forced to park on the road it creates a safety issue when motorists drive too fast or too close to those trucks.”
Jeff Endres, Yahara Pride Farms Chairman
Helping with the harvest
Yahara Pride Farms’ partnering organization, Clean Lakes Alliance, wanted to draw more attention to area farmers working in altered conditions. This week Clean Lakes Alliance purchased more than 50 safety strobe lights that can attach to vehicles and equipment parked on the road.
“Yahara Pride farmers work to incorporate farming practices every day that help keep our lakes clean and safe, so it’s important to us to promote safety as they work to finish their harvest.”
James Tye, Clean Lakes Alliance Founder & Executive Director
Yahara Pride Farms board members will distribute the lights to the participating farmers in the watershed in the next few days. The goal is to have them in use as soon as possible. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is reminding motorists to avoid distractions and be mindful of speed limits as farmers work during hours of darkness to harvest their crops.
Working together since 2011
Yahara Pride Farms is a farmer-led nonprofit working to promote the adoption of conservation practices within the Yahara River Watershed. Clean Lakes Alliance founded and incubated this farmer-led organization. We have invested more than $500,000 to-date. Our investments have helped expand the group’s reach and impact.
At Clean Lakes Alliance, we’re thankful to be part of a community that is surrounded by five beautiful lakes. Our Yahara lakes provide ecological diversity, recreational opportunities, economic benefits, and endless beauty to the Greater Madison area, its residents, and guests.
Join us at Yahara Lakes 101 to learn about important issues impacting our lakes!
About the talk
Agricultural areas represent the majority of the Yahara Watershed and the largest potential for phosphorus reduction. So what is being done in rural areas to help our lakes?
Yahara Pride Farms (YPF) is a farmer-led nonprofit organization working to improve soil and water quality. Since 2012, farmers in YPF programs have documented nearly 68,000 pounds of phosphorus that have remained on farm fields and out of rivers and streams by embracing farming practices promoted by the group. In this month’s Yahara Lakes 101 talk, we’ll hear from Yahara Pride Farms Chair Jeff Endres about the organization’s strategic urban-rural partnerships and how farmers are investing in lake health.
About our speaker
Jeff Endres is co-owner of Endres Berryridge Farms LLC in Waunakee, together with his brothers, Randy and Steve. He has 26 years of experience in field management, machinery operation and repairs, and overall day-to-day dairy operation management. The Endres family has farmed with a conservation mindset for multiple generations and was one of the first farms in Wisconsin to have an official nutrient management plan.
In 2012, Jeff teamed up with other farmers to create Yahara Pride Farms, with the mission to promote agricultural stewardship. The group focuses on the Yahara River Watershed, which covers one of the most populated and agriculturally productive areas in southern Wisconsin. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled the Yahara River, which connects several Madison-area lakes, as an impaired waterway and since that time, Yahara Pride Farms has been working on solutions. Today, the organization’s purpose is to inform agriculturists about water quality issues, reward farmers for environmental stewardship efforts, advance new strategies to improve water quality, and connect with the public to show agriculture’s commitment to protecting natural resources.
This event is at The Edgewater. Come at 7:30 a.m. for a meet-and-greet and to enjoy your coffee, pastries, and fruit. The program begins at 8 a.m., and class is dismissed by 9 a.m. Complimentary event parking will be available at The Edgewater.
Admission is FREE for Friends of Clean Lakes. If you are not a Friend, admission is $10 per event. Registration for each event is requested for all attendees.
Yahara Lakes 101 Science Café
Yahara Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences.
The series is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, with presenting sponsors First Weber Foundation and Johnson Financial Group, hosting sponsor The Edgewater Madison, supporting sponsor National Guardian Life Insurance Company, and media partner the Isthmus.
A message from Yahara Pride Farms on land and conservation efforts
By Jeff Endres, Yahara Pride Farms
Despite a challenging start to the season, the hot, dry weather in July helped crops in Dane County catch up to where they needed to be. We have our fingers crossed for a pleasant fall so that we may have a bountiful harvest and weather conducive for appropriate nutrient application.
Here in Wisconsin, manure is on the mind as we work to improve local water quality. A recent Isthmus interview with retiring University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology director Steve Carpenter reminded all of us of the scale of the phosphorus problem facing our lakes. We often are asked what Clean Lakes Alliance is doing to tackle these issues locally.
Dane County is made up of a large urban population and thriving agricultural community. We greatly value the need to partner with farmers on solutions that will really work.
This summer, Clean Lakes Alliance staff and our talented board and committee members are working closely with partners to get phosphorus reduction efforts off the ground. Here’s a quick summary of where we are and what’s going on: