Maple Acres is a 7th generation farm founded in 1856 by the Zwieg family. It is located within the Ashippun/Oconomowoc Agricultural Enterprise Area, a state-designated area in which agricultural preservation and activity is promoted. The Zwieg’s mission is “to create a successful, community friendly business for future generations, while being good stewards of the land, water, and air of which farming is completely dependent.” Each member of the farm’s robotically-milked dairy herd is treated as a member of the family and is given its own unique moniker. No-till cropping is the cornerstone of the farm’s sustainability efforts.
As the Wisconsin dairy industry continues to face significant challenges, local farmers like the Zwiegs are adopting new strategies to remain competitive – while maintaining their commitment to family and community. In 2011, the Zwiegs placed a conservation easement on 233 acres of the farm, permanently protecting it from future development. The funds received by selling their development rights were reinvested into the farm.
The easement language was carefully written to allow for improvements that would benefit the long-term viability of the farm operations while upholding the important conservation values of the property. This enables the Zwieg family to strategically plan for future growth that is economically sound and environmentally appropriate. And, that is particularly important when your farm is situated directly between the two largest metropolitan areas in the state of Wisconsin and you face constant development pressure. The farm’s eastern border is a few hundred yards from large apartment complexes and homes that were built on prime agricultural land.
“We developed a deep appreciation for all things involving land conservation and its positive effects on quality of life in our community. We truly value our association with Tall Pines and wish that through this relationship, we can be an asset and an advocate in the continuing work of land conservation in our area.” – The Zwieg Family