GL Association’s Conservation Field Day unites farmers, lakeshore owners, community

Chris and Kelly Pollack of Pollack-Vu Dairy are the hosts of the second annual Green Lake Area Conservation Field Day. The field day encourages farmers, shoreline owners and community members to attend to spur conversation and a broader understanding of soil health principles. Ian Stepleton photo

by Alison Niescier

“The average person will drive around the watershed and just see the fields. When I drive around, I see all the conservation practices,” said Caleb Zahn, soil conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Landowners have installed best-management practices — like cover crops, retention ponds, grassed waterways, restored streams and buffers — throughout the Green Lake watershed.

These conservation practices are quietly paving the way toward a cleaner, healthier Big Green Lake.

To shine light on critical but overlooked practices that affect the quality of downstream water resources, a local team of organizations is planning the second annual Green Lake Area Conservation Field Day on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chris Pollack of Pollack-Vu Dairy is hosting the event at W13109 Reeds Corner Road in Ripon. He is a fourth generation dairy farmer in the Green Lake watershed.

He was one of 10 chosen nationally for the American Farm Bureau leadership class. He won the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist Achievement Award in 2015 and previously has hosted the Farm Breakfast.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring farmers, consumers and lakeshore owners together to build relationships,” said Pollack. “The field day provides an understanding that we’re all trying to achieve the same goals.”

The Green Lake Area Conservation Field Day is a free event to showcase soil health improvement practices to a broad audience — for farmers and landowners to consider on their own property or for the public to gain a deeper appreciation for what is being done to improve the quality of soil, rivers and lakes.

Attendees will see soil health, soil pit and rainfall simulator demonstrations.

These visual examples — using soil samples extracted right on site — show how tillage, cover crops and other management practices affect the physical properties of soil, the quality and quantity of storm water runoff and, eventually, the health of downstream waterways.

Equipment also will be on display and free lunch will be provided.

For more information, visit or call the GLA office at 920-294-6480.

Participants are encouraged to RSVP online or by phone to provide an accurate head-count for lunch.

Alison Niescier is the Project Manager for the Green Lake Association, a local not-for-profit that works to improve water quality for Green Lake. The GLA is a guest columnist on behalf of the LMP team.