Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers field day

    Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers field day in Fond du Lac County, June 13, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

    FOND DU LAC COUNTY (WLUK) -- An effort designed to help farmers succeed in their operations while protecting the environment is moving forward in Fond du Lac County.

    The Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers held its very first Field Day Wednesday.

    With the tilt of the plastic bottles, a rainfall simulator demonstrates how quickly water from a tilled field, can runoff.

    And not far away, Clint Hodorff shows how plowing and planting don't always have to mix.

    "The biggest thing is instead of thinking about it, actually doing it. I mean, what do you do to help with the environment?" asked Clint Hodorff, Second Look Holsteins.

    Hodorff operates Second Look Holsteins, a thousand cow dairy on 1,900 acres near Eden, in Fond du Lac County. He and about a dozen area producers formed the Sheboygan River Progressive Farmers group last year. They had their first field day on Wednesday.

    "That's the biggest thing to see, is the networking, and seeing what works and what doesn't work. Everyone's farm is different, everyone manages their land different. But we can talk back and forth and see what works for the group," said Hodorff.

    Financial help totaling about $60,000 is available too. Cost-share programs are designed to offset expenses.

    "So that they can help farmers put in new practices like cover crops, or reduced tillage, and that kind of reduces that economic risk that they may face with that," said Paige Frautschy, The Nature Conservancy.

    In addition to discussion about conservation, farmers had a chance to talk about the weather, and catch up on the conditions this spring.

    "Once the weather broke, we were able to get it planted. So I think we can recover from that pretty well, and we'll be positioned, at least at this point, for a reasonably good crop. Knee high by the Fourth of July? Some of it. Some of it," said Mike Ballweg, UW-Extension Crops and Soils Agent.

    The Sheboygan River Basin covers an area that extends from Manitowoc County in the north, to Ozaukee County in the south.

    Waterways eventually flow into Lake Michigan at Sheboygan.

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