Farmers Care for Wetlands - Lake Harding Association

Farmers Care for Wetlands

Farmers Care for Wetlands

By Micah Moen 0 Comment February 11, 2020


(upbeat music) [Nick] My passion is planting the seeds and seeing the benefits. I think if somebody asked me
why do I preserve wetlands or wonder why I’m so passionate about it- ’cause I think it’s really
a big benefit for everybody. My name is Nick Somers and
I’m a vegetable grower. Our main crop is potatoes but we also raise sweet
corn, peas, and beans. [Tracy] Nick Somers is
the manager and the owner of the Plover River Farms. Nick was one of the first potato growers to implement the conservation
actions needed to be certified as a Healthy Grown Potato grower. [Nick] Yes, I’ve been
a farmer all my life. I guess agriculture’s in my blood. [Tracy] Looking across the state, 75% of our state’s wetlands
are on private land and a large portion of that is the agricultural landowner’s. When you’re working with
the agricultural community, here you’re usually working with people that are several generations of farmers who know those land and
water resources in their area better than anybody else. So our organization is working very closely now with agriculture, really helping them understand
how wetlands are important to the water management,
not just on their farms, but throughout the watersheds
within which they live. Nick, Dianne, and their family, right now they’re managing
over 3,500 acres of cropland and 500 of those acres is the
wetland that he’s protecting. [Nick] Well, this area
behind me is a natural marsh that’s been here since I was a kid and has all kinds of moss growing and all kinds of species
underneath, which is really great. [Nick] The wetlands that he is protecting are at the top of the watershed. They’re the areas that
are collecting the rain and the snow melt higher up than anyone
else in that watershed. [Nick] So it’s a benefit by
having a wetland like this to slow the water down and let it soak in and then release it slowly. [Tracy] And from a community standpoint, by capturing that flow higher up, it’s reducing the flows that
are rushing past our bridges, through our culverts,
past our communities. [Nick] This wetland, I feel, is a benefit for all the people downstream. – When landowners can understand
why wetlands are important to the things they care about, that’s when wetland
protection and restoration is made possible. [Nick] I think it’s something
that everybody should do. Everybody should be involved
in nature and preserving it. [Tracy] It’s a joy to
work with these people because they are so grounded in the earth within which they reside. [Nick] Because of some
of the things that we do, we’re really stewards of the land and we take care of the land and I think we’re doing a pretty good job. [Tracy] So it’s exciting times. I think there’s gonna be a lot
of creative things going on. Wetlands certainly are going to be an important part of the solution to the water resource issues
that we’re facing in Wisconsin. [Nick] It makes me feel really good to come out here and see
what it was like years ago and it’s still that way and it could be that way for the future.

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