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A farmer breakfast and conversation- protecting our family farms
fam farm w cows

VERNON COUNTY - Farmers, and landowners renting out farmland, are invited to a free breakfast and community discussion to be held on January 20, 8-10 a.m., at the American Legion Post #138, 120 South Rusk,  in Viroqua.

Join Valley Stewardship Network and special guests- John Ikerd and Scott Dye, for a discussion about the future of farming in the face of agricultural challenges. Kick off your weekend with a hearty breakfast and community discussion led by these special guests. We will learn from their expertise and explore how to relate their experiences to our regional farming traditions.

John Ikerd, raised on a small dairy farm in southwest Missouri, is professor emeritus in Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri. Professor Ikerd has been a national leader in research and education programs for sustainable agriculture, and has written six books on the topic of sustainable agriculture. Ikerd is also on the board of Jefferson County Iowa Farmers and Neighbors and the national Socially Responsible Agricultural Project. 

Joining Ikerd is Farmer Scott Dye. Scott owns a 130-year-old family farm along Willow Branch in northern Missouri, where he was raised. In 1994, he was confronted with the environmental, economic, and social impacts of animal factories when an 80,000-head hog factory, now owned by WH Group Limited, a China-based meat conglomerate that controls 25% of all U.S. pork production, moved in next door. Dye is the Regional Representative of the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project and founding captain of Missouri Stream Team #714, a volunteer water quality monitoring group composed of local family farmers.

The Driftless region has a long history of family farming. The unique landscape and treasured river and streams are defining aspects of our farming traditions. As alternatives are presented as options in this region, this conversation will be an opportunity to ask question and get expert answers from individuals who have studied and seen the effects of these alternatives.

For more information or questions, please contact Matt Emslie at 608-637-3615 or

Valley Stewardship Network is celebrating 17 years of land and water stewardship in the Kickapoo Valley and adjacent watersheds. Best known for its water quality monitoring programs, VSN also offers outreach and education programs to help farmers, landowners, residents, and visitors understand and support our local ecology for the health of our communities. More at