Sand County Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association are proud to announce Brickstead Dairy as the recipient of Wisconsin’s Leopold Conservation Award®. The award honors Wisconsin landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources. The announcement was made during the November 16 meeting of the Wisconsin Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board in Madison.
Established in 1848, Brickstead Dairy has been a family affair for five generations. Since partnering with his father in the 1990s, Dan Brick has expanded the dairy to include 900 cows. While the size of the dairy has changed over the years, conservation remains at the heart of this family business and the pulse that keeps the farm running.
Over the past few years, Dan has committed to ‘plant into green.’ Instead of conventionally tilling and planting into a brown field, he plants into a living cover crop such as wheat or winter rye. By planting into cover crops, Dan ensures the ground is continuously covered to help the soil and its nutrients stay on the field rather than the local waterways.
Dan has played a significant role in promoting conservation practices in his area. Acknowledging the impact agriculture has had on Green Bay, he is committed to helping promote practices that minimize impacts on the bay. He enjoys sharing his experiences with fellow farmers in the area, as well those who are not familiar with agriculture. Dan has taken advantage of many media opportunities through his participation on Fox Demo Farms to share lessons he has learned in transitioning to a more conservation-focused farm.
“Many farmers are taking a lead role in promoting conservation practices and their efforts should be praised,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte. “Congratulations to Dan for being recognized for his outstanding land stewardship. Brickstead Dairy is a shining example of a farm doing the right thing for the generations to follow.”
“The conservation efforts of the Brick family are a testament to their commitment to the future of their farm and assurance to the community that they, like farmers across the state, continue to look for ways to improve and preserve the quality of land and water for the next generation,” said Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Sr. V.P. Marketing and Industry Relations, Patrick Geoghegan.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”
The award will be presented December 3 at the WFBF’s Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells. The Brick family will be presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and $10,000.
The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Compeer Financial, Wisconsin Soybean Council, American Transmission Company, WE Energies, USDA NRCS and Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association.