2021 MOSES Organic Field Day


Silvopasture for Livestock & Pollinators

Saturday, August 21 |  9 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Free 

Mary Dirty Face Farm
N3060 630th St
Menomonie WI 54751


Photo by Heather Holm

Join us for a silvopasture-pollinator field day at Mary Dirty Face Farm, co-hosted with the Xerces Society. Farm host Rachel Henderson and Xerces pollinator specialist Sarah Foltz Jordan will discuss habitat value both in terms of forage/shade for livestock and food/nesting for pollinators, especially specialist bees, butterflies, and moths that require certain tree and shrub species to survive. Silviculture experts Erik Hagan and Matt Wilson from the Savanna Institute will provide additional guidance on habitat design, installation and weed management.

Topics covered:

  • Silviculture strip installation & management
  • Pollinator biology and resource concerns
  • Tree and shrub species selection
  • Livestock considerations (cattle & hogs)
  • Renting pasture for grass-fed beef as added on-farm enterprise

Field Day Photo Recap:

Rachel explains to the group how a SARE grant, with help from the Xerces Society, and the NRCS helped to fund the new silvopasture installation. All trees and shrubs that were planted were native species, including basswood, shag bark hickory, and service (June) berries. Those trees are quite small yet. The bigger trees in the background are part of a second orchard patch they recently installed.


These cattle are custom grazed on Rachel’s farm for the growing season. A single strand of wire is all that is needed to protect the new tree plantings.





Pigs are also a type of livestock that use the farm silvopasture. They are kept in this holding pen until most of apple harvest is over, and then let into the orchard to help clean up.  Mangalistsa and Old Spots are the two pig breeds they currently have.



Rachel Henderson, Mary Dirty Face Farm

Rachel and her husband, Anton Ptak, own and operate Mary Dirty Face Farm, a certified organic, mixed-fruit orchard. They offer an innovative CSA-style fruit share in the Twin Cities and the Chippewa Valley, and sell at farmers markets, to bakeries and other food artisans, and through on-farm sales. They began planting their original orchard in 2009; it now includes 5½ acres of raspberries, currants, blueberries, gooseberries, plums, pears, and apples. In 2016-17 they began work on a 2nd orchard block dedicated to disease-resistant, heirloom, and unusual apples. Besides fruit, Rachel and Anton raise a small amount of pastured livestock, including hogs, lambs, and poultry, as well as custom grazing cattle. Rachel has been an on-farm Organic Specialist with MOSES since 2018.


Sarah Foltz Jordan, Xerces Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist

Based out of central Minnesota, Sarah leads Xerces’ Upper Midwest native bee and monarch habitat restoration projects. She works closely with a wide range of farmers across the region, with an emphasis on new, cutting-edge pollinator habitat restoration methods and pesticide protection strategies.



Matt Wilson, Savanna Institute

Before coming to the Savanna Institute, Matt was a small farm production advisor with Grow Appalachia, a program of Berea College, where he worked with farmers in eastern Kentucky. Before that, he served as the organic farming coordinator at the Berea College Farm, which is one of the oldest continuously operated student farms in the country. Wanting to dive deeper into perennial agricultural systems, Matt studied edible agroforestry systems during graduate school at the University of Illinois. He is the primary author of Perennial Pathways: Planting Tree Crops, published by the Savanna Institute. On their own farm, Matt’s family has raised sheep, goats,  poultry, honey bees, sweet sorghum syrup, and tree crops.



Map and directions to the farm:



Produced in partnership with:

Supported by funds from:
Award #ENC19-l 79

With additional funds from:



Back to MOSES Organic Field Days

Comments are closed.