As part of the Biden Administration’s Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leadership made a trip to Wisconsin this week. EPA Administrator Michael Regan stopped in West Salem and highlighted EPA’s $7 million infrastructure investment to expand the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore and agriculture policy advisor Sharmin Syed made stops in Dane and Dodge County to tour farms and discuss conservation practices. Admin Shore toured Endres Berryridge farm where Jeff Endres spoke about the importance of composting manure and their usage of cover crops.
Advisor Syed continued with a tour of Dave and Kathleen Hafemeister’s farm. Dave and Kathleen own and operate their family’s dairy farm just east of Hustiford. Hafemeister’s farm boasts one of the first robotic milking systems installed in Dodge County, which was installed in December 2014. Advisory Syed was able to see firsthand how technology plays part in dairy and how the Hafemeisters are able to increase production while improving the health of the herd by catching sickness earlier.
Advisor Syed closed out her trip to Wisconsin with a tour of Hildebrandt’s Farm, also outside Hustiford. Roger Hildebrandt and his family milk approximately 100 cows and farm 1,400 acres. During the tour, Roger spoke about his family’s use of cover crops and the techniques that make their farm different. Sharmin was also able to jump aboard a tractor and experience field work firsthand.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau appreciates the efforts of EPA to include farmers in the conservation conversation. We hope to continue to work with the agency and provide resources to them on conservation practices that our members can show tangible results.