Ozaukee Treasures Network

Rural Development Initiative Awards

OTN/Treasures of Oz and OTN partner, GrassWorks have much to celebrate!


Wisconsin Rural Partners - Press Release April 6, 2-15

Five exemplary projects selected for Wisconsin Top Rural Development Initiative honors

HOLLANDALE - Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc., a statewide non-profit corporation, will award the Top Rural Development Initiatives for 2015 at a ceremony at the Heidel House Resort and Spa in Green Lake Wisconsin on Thursday, April 23 at 1:30 PM. The awards will be presented by Wisconsin Rural Partners president Don Sidlowski and awards committee chairperson Coreen Fallat.

"Rural Partners received 29 nominations this year for these prestigious awards, and the competition was astounding," said Rural Partners Executive Director Rick Rolfsmeyer. "The five initiatives selected by the judges are truly the cream of the crop, exemplifying the best of all the great things rural Wisconsin has to offer."

The five efforts receiving Top Rural Development Initiative awards are:

Treasures of Oz and the Ozaukee County Treasures Network - These two organizations work in harmony to increase the capacity of member organizations in Ozaukee County to provide educational opportunities with an environmental focus. Treasures of Oz has over 100 active volunteers; the Ozaukee Treasures Network represents over 75 organizations, including federal, state, county and local agencies. Several educational workshops and events are conducted annually, including the Eco-Tour, which logs over 1,200 site visits annually to the well-known one-day event.

GrassWorks Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program – The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship is the first accredited Apprenticeship for farming in the nation. The program is dedicated to providing a guided pathway to independent dairy farm ownership, developing grazing careers, and strengthening the economic and environmental well-being of rural communities and the dairy industry. The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship spun-off from the organization GrassWorks to become an independent nonprofit organization.

The other 3 are:

Baraboo Big Top Parade and Circus Celebration

Wisconsin Rural Collaborative for Rural Graduate Medical Education

Wormfarm Institute and Fermentation Fest

Wisconsin Rural Partners is a statewide non-profit organization that develops rural networks and leaders, and provides a voice for rural Wisconsin. WRP is the federally-recognized State Rural Development Council for Wisconsin.

This is the fifteenth year that Wisconsin Rural Partners has recognized Wisconsin's Top Rural Development Initiatives. The program is designed to identify, highlight, and share innovative models, practices and programs that have a positive impact on rural Wisconsin communities. Wisconsin Rural Partners created the program to provide a mechanism for rural communities to learn from each other.

For more information on the Wisconsin Rural Summit visit http://wirural.org/summit2015.

OTN Spring Conference 2015


What: OTN Spring Conference


Where: Riveredge Nature Preserve - the barn


When: 5:30 pm


Featured Speakers:

Port Washington Mayor Tom Mlada and Port Washington Tourism Director, Kathy Tank presenting on the proposed NOAA Maritime Sanctuary along Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Manitowoc County and Jill Hapner and Jerold Berg on GrassWorks Inc.

(GrassWorks is a grassroots membership organization that provides leadership and education to farmers and consumers for the advancement of managed grass-based agriculture to benefit present and future generations. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, GrassWorks links farmers with the resources they need to be successful graziers.)


Plenty of networking time and food as always

Note: as always, you are welcome to bring a beverage of choice to share. If you would like to add to the dinner, that would be great. Please let us know what you might bring so we can plan the rest of the food.


 Email your rsvp to Marjie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes from the 2014 September OTN Conference

Who was in attendance:

We had a full house with membership from:

Ozaukee County Planning and Parks, Land and Water Management, UW Extension, and County Board.

Wellspring, Riveredge, OWLT, Pheasants Forever, Wisconsin Wetlands, DNR, Ulao Creek Partnership, Village of Thiensville, Town of Grafton, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat, Wisconsin Humane-Ozaukee, Cedarburg Bog, Treasures of Oz, Land Conservation Partnership of Ozaukee County, Renew Port, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, The Conservation Fund, Eco-Resources, Stantec, Sweet Water Trust, Tall Pines Conservancy, and SANC.

Talks and topics were interesting and enlightening...so apologies for the brevity of the notes. We would have needed one good court reporter to keep up with the flow and details of the presentations. This is a very good reason to attend these events, rather than rely on the notes..LOL. Some more details will be coming, so watch this space.

Read more: Notes from the 2014 September OTN Conference