What is your favorite way to experience Wisconsin water in the summer? From boating and fishing to swimming and kayaking, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy the bountiful waters of Wisconsin.

Clean lakes, rivers and streams start with smart, sustainable farming practices.

Wisconsin corn farmers are the ultimate water enthusiasts. Clean water is essential for corn farmers and they recognize how important it is for you, too.

Follow along as four Wisconsin farmers share their go-to destinations for enjoying Wisconsin waters and what they are doing to keep it clean.

Heather and Matt Reu, Whitewater, Wis.

Clean water and health go hand-in-hand for Heather Reu. She is confident that her water and your water is safe and clean because of the practices they have implemented on their farm.

Heather’s kids love helping with cattle chores. On hot summer days, it is important that the cattle have cool, fresh water to drink. Just like people, the cattle won’t drink the water if it tastes funny or is unclean.

“I want families to know that we really care about the water because our family is using it too,” shared Heather.

The Reu family’s favorite water destination is Pleasant Lake. They love fishing together as a family.

You can learn more about Heather’s family farm at wicorn.org.

Willie and Candice Hughes, Janesville, Wis.

Willie Hughes takes great responsibility in preserving and protecting water resources. Rock County boasts of some of the most fertile soil in the world. Willie relies on modern conservation practices like cover crops to improve soil health and keep water clean.

Cover crops act as a blanket for the soil. By planting cover crops, Willie sees improved soil health, uses less fertilizer and makes fewer trips across the field with equipment.

“Clean water starts with healthy soils, and it’s my job to maintain the health of these soils,” said Willie.

The Hughes family’s favorite water destination is the Rock River. Keeping the river clean is just as important to Willie as a resident as it is as someone trying to farm.

You can learn more about Willie’s family farm at wicorn.org.

Rick and Kimbery Gehrke, Omro, Wis.

Water is always on a farmer’s mind. For Rick Gehrke, who farms less than a mile from the Fox River, he is always thinking about how his farming decisions impact his farm and the larger impacts downstream.

Rick uses precision technology to apply fertilizer only to areas of the field where it is needed. He follows the “3R” rule – right amount, right time and right place – to ensure he is giving his growing crops the exact nutrition they need to reach their full potential.

“My generation of farmers are thinking long term about water conservation and how we can be better stewards and improve our water quality,” shared Rick.

The Gehrke family’s go-to water destination is the Fox River close to their farm. They enjoy boating, fishing and swimming as a family.

You can learn more about Rick’s family farm at wicorn.org.

Ryan and Brianna Ripp, Dane, Wis.

Ryan and Brianna Ripp have two little kids. They are often thinking about how the way they farm impacts not only their own family, but families in their community and beyond, too.

Ryan practices no-till farming – planting directly into the field without working up the land. No-till build organic matter in the soil that helps plants grow and helps protect the soil from wind and water erosion.

“Our local lakes, rivers, streams – we want them to be clean and enjoyed, too,” shared Ryan. “So, we’re working to be part of the solution.”

The Ripp family loves experiencing Wisconsin waterways by visiting the local splash pad with their kids, boating with friends and fishing in the pond.

You can learn more about Ryan’s family farm at wicorn.org.

No matter where you enjoy the water this summer, you can feel confident that area farmers are working hard to protect water resources. Farm families enjoy Wisconsin waterways just like you do and they want you to feel confident that the water is safe and healthy.