Farm: Cylon Rolling Acres
Location: Deer Park, WI
Farm Bureau: St. Croix County
Leslie Svacina raises meat goats and sheep in Western Wisconsin. On her family’s farm, Cylon Rolling Acres, sustainability means utilizing and caring for natural resources. They are continually looking for ways to improve and make the farm better. They not only want to enhance their natural resources, but they also want to improve their practices to continue to learn and grow.
A large part of Cylon Rolling Acres is rotational grazing. Grazing practices are the basis of how the Svacina family farms and dictates how they care for the land and the resources that they have.
Being involved in networks of other grazers has been a helpful resource for Leslie. She works with technical field staff that help grazers get started and make improvements on their land. They also work in collaboration with Natural Resources Conservation Service – Wisconsin (NRCS). In addition, hosting and attending on-farm pasture walks has been a beneficial learning tool.
“I learn a lot learning from what other livestock farmers are doing with grazing practices,” shared Leslie. “It is helpful to look at how I can implement other practices on my farm.”
Leslie partners with NRCS to advance conservation. As a first-generation farmer, NRCS was able to help Leslie write rotational grazing plans and manage woodlands. She used technical advice to implement new practices such as converting cropland to pasture and efficient water management.
Leslie is a member of the Western Wisconsin Conservation Council. She appreciates learning and understanding what her peers are doing on their farms.
One of the biggest conservation challenges for Leslie was implementing rotational grazing. As a beginning farmer, rotational grazing was an opportunity to operate at a lower scale with existing resources. Moving to this management style, Leslie quickly realized the herd needed to be managed differently. To adapt to these new demands, she started moving the herd more frequently to mitigate parasite pressures. Leslie also made genetic adaptations to her herd to raise a new stock that was hardier for the pasture.
Leslie wants to better utilize the land with her family’s livestock through their rotational grazing system. There is a great soil health benefit to implementing livestock on the land. The Svacinas have been able to expand their grazing footprint into their woods and hope to continue expanding across their acres.
In addition, Leslie is working with NRCS on a managed conservation plan to renovate an oak savannah on their land. They will utilize their goats to help restore the grassland.
Finally, Leslie wants to continue to help and share with other farmers how they can utilize conservation practices on their farm.
Leslie sells and markets nutritious pasture-raised meats to families across the country. She also offers consulting services to beginning grazers through Grazing with Leslie.