While Waukesha was once known as Cow County USA for its abundance of thriving dairy operations, decades of suburban growth and numerous economic challenges have permanently altered the once bucolic landscape.
Koepke Pleasant View Farm is a 109-acre farm founded in 1875 and located just north of the city of Oconomowoc. Its picturesque views of Holy Hill to the north and Lac La Belle to the south made it a prime candidate for a subdivision that could have incorporated 100 homes. Instead, the Koepke Family chose to permanently protect their 5th generation family farm from future development through a conservation easement with Tall Pines Conservancy. Today, the land serves as a strategic buffer between rural northern Waukesha county and the city to the south.
In 2011, the Koepke family received the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award for being one of the first farms in the area to adopt a completely no-till system and utilize conservation practices such as contour strip cropping, diversified crop rotation, nutrient management and cover crops. Today, John Koepke shares his extensive knowledge as a founding member of Farmers For Lake Country, a farmer-led organization that advocates economically viable best management practices to improve soil health and help preserve and protect our lakes and streams.
“Tall Pines is the leader in keeping some country in Lake Country. Our family is proud to partner with Tall Pines to protect farmland and open space in Oconomowoc– it keeps us as farmers viable, protects the environment, and keeps the community both beautiful and bountiful.” - John Koepke