Sustain Jefferson Jefferson County, Wisconsin

Meeting Minutes



Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

December 1, 2021

Via Zoom


Board Members Present: Richard Seibt, Kasy Culbertson, Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Ben Adams,
Amanda Langer, Janet McConaughey, Mike Klaus, Buck Smith (Quorum established)

Others: Kathy Adams, Kathy Heller

Called to order at 6:00 pm.

November Minutes: Motion to approve by Richard, second by Janet.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report


Amazon Smile $5.10

Glassford Donation $100.00

Jean Brooks Donation 47.50 (through Stripe)

Deposit of 13.73 (unknown through Stripe)


Potatoes - $289.50

Printing - $29.00

Current Balance is $3394.66


Seed Potatoes

Vermont Valley is now called Mystic Farms (still run by the same people at the same place)

Linda ordered 135 pounds (6 different varieties) – 25 pounds was $42, now $52.  We will be increasing our prices as a result.

Potato Sale will be in April at the time of our Gardening Workshop (planning to begin in January)


Bee Project

Photos displayed to show the lumber posts at Dorothy Carnes Park and the panels themselves which will be set in place in the spring  Thanks to Amanda for the design and John, who headed the construction. These signs are our gifts to the county.  The QR code in the corner will open to the county’s site. (The county may enter Spanish translation – their option)  Sustain Jefferson’s logo is also displayed.

We will have a photo op in the spring when the signs are completed.

Total cost was $354.39 for the 4 panels.


Videos Tab on Website

Videos are condensed onto our YouTube site.  There is a link to them on the Sustain Jefferson Website.


Book Study

Amanda will lead us in the book study of  “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  It is available free through the Hoopla app (through Watertown’s Public Library) both as audiobook and ebook.


Booth at MREA vs Jefferson County Fair ?

MREA (June 24-26)  vs. Jefferson County Fair: We discussed both recouping costs AND supporting our mission of education.  Buck is trying to get the topic of educational displays for the County Fair onto the agenda for the county board’s next meeting.  Our decision is tabled until the January meeting.


Janet viewed a 3 part webinar from the University of Maryland on monitoring air and water quality and testing.  The last session was on citizen science – how we can all contribute.

There is a section of the EPA website called “My Environment”  On the opening page, , you can enter your location and see monitoring details on businesses monitored by the EPA. 

Janet will share these webinars for board member viewing.  They could possibly be used for an event/workshop to encourage citizen science monitoring?


Rosy Lane Zoom of November 15th  as reported by Ben Adams

Unfortunately, it was not well attended.  Ben asked Jordan Matthews questions about CAFO’s (originally brought up in John Ikerd’s Right to Harm video).  Some of the issues didn’t apply – not all CAFO’s are the same.  Aquifer infiltraton of pesticides, etc. did not come up in the discussion and perhaps should have.  A followup discussion may be warranted.

The Zoom has been condensed and is ready to go on the SJ website and is currently on YouTube. 


Related: Richard suggested we invite the Soil Savers (John & Richard attended a meeting with them) or the Family Farm Defenders




Janet relayed that the Michael Fields Institute (a Biodynamic Farm in East Troy) is growing a perennial grain, kernza, that is being tested by bakers right now.  Perhaps a spokesman could speak on the subject and local farmers may be interested.


Richard shared that free water quality testing (for a few key pollutants) can be done at the MREA – bring a sample to test.


John moved to adjourn.  Linda seconded.  All approved.   The meeting was adjourned at 7:20.


Next meeting will be January 5th at 6PM via Zoom.


Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams, Secretary



Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

November 3, 2021

Via Zoom


Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Mike Klaus, Kathy Adams, Janet McConaughey, Richard Seibt (Quorum established)

Others: Ben Adams, Ellen Klaus, Amanda Langer

Annual Meeting (Election of board members and officers):

The board seats of Greg David, Kathy Adams, and Janet McConaughey are open (3 year term completed for all).

New board members (3 year term – 2022 to 2024):

Amanda Langer:  Nominated by Linda Nichols; seconded by Richard Seibt.  Amanda accepted the nomination.  All voted to approve Amanda as board member.

Ben Adams:  Nominated by Kathy Adams; seconded by Linda Nichols.  Ben accepted the nomination.  All voted to approve Ben as board member.

Janet McConaughey:  Agreed to remain on board.  Nominated by Linda Nichols; seconded by Richard Seibt.  All voted to approve Janet as board member.

Election of Officers (one year term):

President:  Linda Nichols agreed to remain in the office.  Richard Seibt nominated Linda to remain as president.  Mike Klaus seconded. Linda accepted the nomination. All voted to approve Linda as continuing president.

Vice President: Janet McConaughey agreed to remain in the office.   Linda Nichols nominated Janet as V.P.  Mike Klaus seconded.  Janet accepted the nomination.  All voted to approve Janet as continuing vice president.

Secretary: Kathy Adams agreed to remain in the office.  Linda Nichols nominated Kathy as secretary.  Mike Klaus seconded. Kathy accepted the nomination.  All voted to approve Kathy as continuing secretary.

Treasurer:  Ben Adams agreed to remain as treasurer.  Linda Nichols nominated Ben as treasurer.  Janet McConaughey seconded.  Ben accepted the nomination and all voted to approve Ben as treasurer.

The annual financial report will be given in January 2022.

Richard moved that we close the annual meeting.  Mike Klaus seconded.  All voted to adjourn the annual meeting.  adjourned at 6:09


November Board meeting:

Called to order at 6:10 pm.

October Minutes: Motion to approve by John, second by Richard.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report

Since early October, 2 deposits came through the Donate button (Stripe transfers).

$47.50 (donation from the Ellen Klaus) & $14.04 (from Barbara Brouwer for raspberries) 

Note:  Stripe keeps 5% of the donation for a processing fee. The original amounts donated were $50  and $15.

We earned interest of .31

A check for $158.15 was paid to Kathy  to reimburse her for her payment of Zoom’s annual fee.

Current Balance is $3594.33


Seed Potato Order

The order should be placed in December to be sold in April.  Linda reported that last year, we spent $273 for 145 pounds of organic seed potatoes from Vermont Valley.  After discussion, we decided to order the same amount as last year.     

Linda will send an email blast to gauge interest.  Richard moved that we purchase up to 145 pounds of potatoes.  Mike seconded.  All approved.


Green Burial Zoom to be held on Friday, November 5

Fifteen people have the zoom link. Andra of Casper Creek Natural Cemetary will present the information.   

Mike received a recent newsletter from Casper Creek and mentions that they offer “conservational burials” which is defined as natural burial on lands protected by a recognized land trust entity.  Conservation principles are employed to support sustainable cemetary management practices. The “conservational burial” is more specific than “green burial”.


Bee Project Sign Update

John & Linda met with county officials on placement of the signs.  On Friday, Amanda and Linda will visit the printer, Webco.  We are hoping to have people or organizations donate to this project.


Rosy Lane Zoom on November 15th, 6-7PM

Linda has names of people who have seen “Right to Harm” They and people on the SJ board will be invited to this zoom.

Jordan will speak on his background for about 10-15 minutes.  Then we’ll discuss John Ikerd’s “myths of CAFO” from the “Right to Harm” presentation.  And finally, a Q/A portion.  Ben will moderate this.  We welcome questions in advance and the use of the chat window during the Zoom.  Linda and Ben will work on an email to be sent out.  Kathy will set up the Zoom.  Some of the topics that we may cover are training required for young farmers today, protecting the groundwater, and hiring practices for people that may be illegal immigrants.


MREA – Booth at the Energy Fair in June

In the past, Sustain Jefferson had a booth at the Energy Fair providing rocket stove information(~2010)  Richard will investigate 2021 booth requirements and cost with MREA this week and get back to us.  Amanda volunteered to provide native planting education.  We could include our progress on native bees. We also have the display that was set up at the “Right to Harm” event in Oconomowoc this summer.  Plans are being made to meet at Linda’s to consolidate info and materials for the booth.




Ben discussed the Rockport Airport Expansion’s impact on the Bell Bowl Prairie preservation.  Those expansion plans are on hold for now


Richard reported that the SmartDrive event went very well.  ~1/3 of the displayed cars were Teslas.   Test rides were available on the Tesla Plaid (has extremely fast acceleration).  The event was at Festival Foods (most of their stores have charging stations). There is no fee for Drivesmart membership.  They hold 2-3 events/year.


Richard asked if our SJ webpage has a link page to other organisations.  Not currently, but something to think about.


Thinking ahead to spring 2022:  Janet reports that the 1st seed catalog was delivered to her house recently.  She ordered pullets to be delivered in March.


A motion to adjourn was made by Richard.  Janet seconded.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 7:13


Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams, Secretary

Our next meeting will be December 1st at 6PM via Zoom (a recurring meeting)


Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

October 6, 2021

Via Zoom


Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Buck Smith, Kathy Adams, Janet McConaughey, Richard Seibt (Quorum established)

Others: Ben Adams, Amanda Langer

Called to order at 6:03 pm.

September Minutes: Motion to approve by John, second by Richard.  Approved unanimously.

Board Elections will take place at our November meeting.

Financial Report

Two payments were made of $50 and $23.49 for materials for the native bee signs. 

The insurance bill of $1063 was paid. 

We received .35 in dividends.

For the Loving Your Land in Every Season event on October 2nd,

Income: $204.00 was taken in at the October 2nd event.

Paid out $100.00 

$40 for 2 speaker fees of $20 each

$60 fee for venue (reimbursed to CJ)

Net income was $104.00


The current balance is $3750.63.


ZOOM account:

A motion was made by Richard and seconded by Kathy to sign up for Zoom services for 1 year (approximately $170.00).  All approved.

Kathy will set up the account.

Native Bee Project at Dorothy Carnes County Park

Plans:  On Tuesday, Oct. 12, Linda will go to the County Park to review sign placement.  Amanda will meet with Kevin on Friday to go over the text of the signs.  Richard will enter the GPS coordinates of the signs.  The county will set the posts, but the signage will not be set on top yet, as we are working on setting up the text with Webco.  Kevin and Mary are our county contacts.

Green Burial Presentation 

Andra Larson of Casper Natural Cemetery will present information on natural burials via Zoom on November 5th at 7PM

Linda will send an email blast and send the Zoom link to those who are interested.

Tour of John’s Recycling Center

We haven’t heard back yet from Caitlin McAleavey, Solid Waste Clean Sweep Specialist for Jefferson County.  John’s may be overloaded with increased business at this time.

New Business

Future Discussion with Jordan,  (Rosy Lane Dairy Farm partner) to hear their take on the Right to Harm video, which can be seen here:      Ben spoke to Jordan and found that he is willing to join us via Zoom to discuss the video as it relates to their farm.   He would need an early slot of 4-5 pm on a Sunday or Monday.  The SJ board and regular attendees would be invited.  Questions should be prepared in advance.  Ben will moderate and monitor the chat.

No Announcements

Next Meeting:

November 3rd at 6pm via Zoom

Kathy moved to adjourn the meeting, Janet seconded.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 6:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams, Secretary


Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

September 1, 2021

At the home of Janet McConaughey, Ixonia


Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Mike Klaus, Kathy Adams, Richard Seibt, Janet McConaughey (Quorum established)

Others: Ben Adams, Ellen Klaus, CJ O’Neill, Amanda Langer

Called to order at 6:43 pm.

August Minutes: Motion to approve by Richard, second by Mike.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report

The balance remains almost identical to last month’s at approximately $4950.  The only change would be the dividend received which is typically less than 50 cents.

The insurance bill should arrive next week and will be about $1000. 


Right to Harm event held on August 8,2021:  Approximately 60 people attended the event. On the Earth’s Production recording of John Ikerd’s talk entitled “Wake Up Rural America: Factory Farm Myths, Realities and Remedies”can be viewed at 

Janet McConaughey was present at the Sustain Jefferson table.  There was one new email to add to our email list.  Many people stopped to look at the display which focused on skills that could be learned. Please note “Preserve Ixonia” organization has changed its name to “Save Ixonia”

WRMC Sustainability Fair held on August 28, 2021

John, Linda, Janet, and Richard attended.  There were many exhibitors.  Janet & Linda listened to Melinda Myers talk about pollenator plants.  We picked up 9 new email addresses.  Citizens Climate Lobby was there.  Janet reported that the Oconomowoc Watershed program has a field of vegetables, sown after a wheat harvest.  The so-called “Chaos Field” vegetables are growing without much attention.  The food can be harvested by anyone that wants it!

Grow Solar webinar on Aug 24, 2021 – John and Linda spoke briefly at the start ot the webinar.  Waukesha Green Team and MREA are spearheading the solar group buy, just like the Glacial Heritage Solar Buy that Sustain Jefferson organized in the past.

20 people registered, 13 listened in.  The group buy has met its second hurdle.  One more tier to be passed.  John reported that the average installation is 8 kilowatts.  Deadline to sign a contract is September 30, 2021.  Richard encouraged everyone to get the free solar site assessment – 1st part is virtual – using past bills and google earth images of your property.




Loving Your Land in Every Season to be held October 2, 2021 at Johnson Creek Community Center beginning at 9am (setup at 8) 

These are the topics:

  • Caring for your woodlands, related both to urban and rural properties

  • Early Spring Pollenator Plants

  • Fall Garden Prep –winter garden care, so you leave habitats for health of wildlife and insects

  • Winter Birds

  • Crafting with natural materials

The sessions will be about 45 minutes long. (Three in the morning, then a lunchbreak, two in the afternoon)

Request was made for 3 soups (Kathy, Janet, and ?), 2-3 breads (Ellen&Mike), dessert (CJ)  CJ has our store of cups, bowls, napkins, and tableware

Mary Branson is doing the crafts – please share ideas of what you may have done successfully in the past and bring materials that could be used.

There is a $60 charge for the facility.  We will charge $20 per person.  We will maintain safe distances (COVID) between tables.

Morning glare on the screen may be a concern – we may tape fabric or paper onto the glass of the windows.  John & Linda will set up the electronics and screens.

Items that could be donated and offered for sale:

Gardening books and jellies, vegetable seed (tomato, pepper, prairie seed)  - the committee will discuss pricing.


Mason Farm Native Bee project

John has made all the wood cuts and would like help with assembly (Ben, Mike, perhaps Buck)– Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 2:30pm

Amanda has had some difficulty finding high resolution pictures for the signs.


Micropark Weeding Friday, September 17, 2021 in the morning (led by Amanda Langer)


John’s recycling facility Tour

Caitlin McAleavey, Jefferson County’s Clean Sweep coordinator, will set up a tour on a Monday (date TBD) for 8-10 people.



Natural burials – date TBD (weekday evening at 6:30?) perhaps via ZOOM.  Ellen & Mike will talk to Andra Larson to schedule this.

Book Study   - 2 options

Braiding Sweetgrass – Robin Wall Kimmerer   or

The Nature of Oaks – Doug Tallamy

Waste Cap Speaker for Local Businesses – targeted to local business personnel (individually invited) – to help them reduce their waste at the front end, so the consumers would have less struggle to reduce the waste from use of their products. Is this feasible for us to organize?

Garden Event in Spring 2022– possibly April 2nd. Topics/sessions will be related to our skill surveys.  We would sell potatoes, but not plants.

Johnson Creek Rummage Sale 2022– possibly April 22nd-23rd.




Sustainability Research - Graduate student researchers at New York University would like to talk to SJ members about their thoughts on sustainability. To participate (surveys and one potential virtual interview), contact NYU adjunct professor, Abigail Adams at


Jefferson County Soil Builders are meeting on Wednesday, Sept 8th 5pm to discuss cover crops and look at a demo plot at the Josh Gross farm on Gordy Lane North of Jefferson.  Brats, burgers, and drinks are provided.  Bring lawn chairs.  More information can be found on the Sustain Jefferson Facebook page.



Jefferson County Fair 2022 – Should SJ have a presence? It would be a good outreach and education opportunity.  We may also sell items to cover the high cost of being there. Booth cost is $350 or more.  Perhaps we could share a booth/table with another organization?  Perhaps with Heart of the City?


Our next meeting will be October 6th at 6pm via Zoom.  The link will be sent later.


Richard moved to adjourn the meeting.  Janet seconded.  All agreed.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:10pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams, Secretary


Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

August 4, 2021

At the home of Kasy Culbertson, Watertown

Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Mike Klaus, Kathy Adams, Buck Smith, Richard Seibt, Kasy Culbertson, Janet McConaughey  (Quorum established)

Others: Ben Adams, CJ O’Neill, Amanda Langer, Frankie Fuller, Paul

Called to order at 6:30 pm.

July Minutes: Motion to approve by John, second by Janet.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report

The balance is $4944.63. 

We received .42 dividend in July.  Linda did a test of the new website’s Donate Button with a $5.00 donation.  Due to the Stripe processing fee, this resulted in an actual deposit of $4.47 deposit.  Paul was refunded $155.88 for an in-motion hosting refund.

Mary Branson has created posterboard Sustain Jefferson displays for our next 2 events. Sustain Jefferson considered reimbursing her $50 for materials and her time.  Buck moved and Mike seconded that we reimburse her $50 for materials and her time and expertise.  All approved.  Motion passed

Linda passed around the timesheet for Joey Barganz.  He has completed the 5 items requested of him.  We will pay him $300, at the agreed upon rate.  Kasy moved that we write a check to Joey $300 for his work.  Kathy seconded and it was approved by all.  Linda will write the check and send it to Joey along with a letter of recommendation after his excellent work for us. 

Jefferson County Events

County Fair, July 10th:  Buck reported that Caitlin McAleavey, the County’s Clean Sweep coordinator had a table at the fair.  She had an educational game with prizes for correct answers.  10 Compost Bins were also given away.  Kasy reported that while she sat with Caitlin, she learned that all county recycling and waste is being sent to John’s in Whitewater.  Caitlin is a very good educator and there was a lot of activity at the booth.  Caitlin is currently working on the county’s website with more details on how to recycle.  500 tons of recycled materials every day and sells for an average or $100/ton.  We will revisit some of these topics later and perhaps have a tour of Johns Recycling facility.

Upcoming Clean Sweep Events:  Jefferson County will have an electronics Clean Sweep Event on Thursday Sept 2 at the Fairgrounds.  Watertown will have a Clean Sweep on Friday September 17th Saturday the 18th.

Check the brochure on the website for more information on these events:

Bee Project Update

The 11.5”x17.5” sign requires massive image files and it is difficult finding the required high res images.  Amanda is doing a lot of research and it will take a bit longer.  She also pared down the text and added artwork.  John proposes leading a construction project day for building the sign support structure sometime in September.

Micropark Update

Thistles were pulled last month and another session may be set up for the last weekend in August.  Randy W apparently fixed the kiosk.  An updated map and a history of the park may be added to the kiosk.   Randy OK’d a formal planting around it.  Amanda should be able to order plants at a good price and will build a budget for it.  September may be a good time to plant. 

The Right to Harm Event

To be held on Sunday, August 8 from 2-5.  John Ikerd will be speaking.  Janet will be there to set up a SJ table with the poster that Mary Branson is creating.  Demonstration items will also be included on the table.

Grow Solar Group Buy

August 24th, John and Linda will play key roles in the Zoom session that day.  Frankie Fuller reports that there is a pre-recorded Zoom session with Joanna of Waukesha Green Team speaking.  A report on the project can also be found at  as part of the video playlist.  Also, check out the Grow Solar Facebook page at

There was a short discussion about the safety of solar power and the longevity of the panels, and energy storage.

Sustainability Fair at Retzer Nature Center on August 28th, initiated by Waukesha Green Team

Linda passed a sign-up sheet for the Sustain Jefferson table at this event.  Reminders for signups will also be sent by Kathy Adams.

Fall Event (tentatively on October 9th)

The committee for this consists of Janet, Amanda, Linda, Kathy, and Ben.  The first meeting will be at Latte Donate in Watertown at noon on Friday, August 13th.


A request:  Please don’t have side conversations during the meeting – makes it hard to focus on the relevant meeting conversation.  Also, look at the agenda before coming.

COVID may again be an issue in our meetings.  Should we use Zoom again?  Buck will allow us to use his account if needed.  Or perhaps we should eliminate the potluck portion of our meetings?  We will decide month by month.

Next meeting:  Wednesday September 1, 6PM at Janet’s home –N8144 LaSalle Circle, Oconomowoc. 

Motion to adjourn by Richard.  Janet seconded.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 7:37pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams, Secretary



Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

July 7, 2021

At the Nichols home, Watertown


Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Mike Klaus, Kathy Adams, Buck Smith, Richard Seibt, Kasy Culbertson, Janet McConaughey via phone (Quorum established)

Others: Ben Adams, CJ O’Neill, Ellen Klaus, Amanda Langer

Called to order at 6:30 pm.

June Minutes: Correction was be made to include Janet’s attendance at the meeting in June  Motion to approve by John, second by Kasy.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report

Received 6-month report from Paul.

Received .44 interest in June

The $35 check to the Waukesha Green Team for a booth at their Regen Ag event in August has cleared.

A $260  check was also written to John for supplies for bee project signage.  Insurance was paid in September for the year.

Balance on our account is $5080.09


Linda demonstrated the new website. remains our website address.  We are now using Gmail instead of webmail – Our email address has changed to  Joey B is making a tutorial to teach us how to work with the site.   The Donor box is set up with donations will be deposited in our Landmark account via Stripe.   There is a new gallery tab with photos.  Videos will be included.    Ellen and Mike offered to write a short history of SJ for the website. 

Native Bee Project

John showed us the wood and hardware he purchased for the posts and bases for the signs.   He has already begun cutting the pieces.  We may have a workday for assembling them.

Amanda is finishing up the verbiage and graphics for the signs (using Gimp).  Once finished, they will be sent for approval to Kevin Wiesmann of the Jefferson County Parks Department.

Linda, Amanda, and Kathy have visited Dorothy Carnes County Park to see where the signs would best be placed.  The signs will face north so the sun will not damage them.  The bee houses will face south (for the warmth of the sun).  We plan that our logo will be included on the signs, as well as QR codes directing visitors to the county website. Kasy asked if the signs would be bilingual.  Discussion is still required with Kevin and we will speak to him about this, as well as QR codes.

Richard questioned whether there will be an adequate cell signal to use the QR code. 

Our goal is to have everything in place by mid-October.

Ellen recommended that pictures of the assembly be taken for publicity.  CJ thought links to further information could be helpful.

Micropark Thistle Pull

Amanda reports: We pulled 90% of the thistles in 2 workdays in May.  She suggests we return in mid-July for another weekday.  She spoke to Randy, our Parks connection.  He was happy about the progress we’ve had.  He was supportive of Amanda’s suggestion to put in an area of formal growth around our sign if it’s maintained over the years.  Amanda has taken pictures of the flowers.

Waukesha County Green Sustainability Fair, Retzer Nature Center on Saturday, August 28 9:30-3:00

We will have a booth covering regenerative agriculture.  Linda will setup part of the table with info about Sustain Jefferson.  We will ask for volunteers at our next meeting – Amanda and John have volunteered so far.  Setup at 8AM.  More info and signup sheets will be discussed at our August meeting.

Grow Solar in Jefferson & Waukesha County

Zoom sessions are scheduled.  A Sustain Jefferson person/s will be at one of them to discuss solar.  Kasy would like info on what happens to the panels after they are no longer used.

Richard mentioned Ben Nelson is an option to set up solar panels for less money. And there are other ways.

Our Talents to Share perhaps for future events

Amanda: Rain Gardens, native plants, monarch waystation or pollinator gardens, native and sustainable landscaping, edible landscaping, knitting, crocheting, spinning, invasive brush removal, winter tree ID, vermiculture

Ellen & Mike: Soap Making, 7 Pesto idea with different herbs and plants, Black Garlic

Ben: Raised Beds, using Cattle Panels for growing vertically (hands on)

A shared memory for many: About 10 years ago, SJ Construction teams built and sold Raised Beds, Compost Bins, and Rain Barrels, packaged as Earth Victory Gardens.  Perhaps, that could be done as a workshop.

Janet: Gardening Clubs, Food Cultivation, bees, chickens, herbal medicine, fermentation, making nut cheeses, hypertufa containers

Kasy: Making apple jack from cider and perry from pear juice

John: We all know he has a lot of knowledge (unspecified at this time) to be used in the future

Kathy:  Propagation by cuttings or runners, food preservation by dehydrating & vacuum sealing, refrigerator dill pickles

CJ: Baking & Cooking (Brisket)


Linda proposes we pick 2 dates in the fall – 

  1. Ellen & Mike may have a cemetery manager speak to us on the topic of natural burial.  It could possibly be held on an early November evening

  2. another event - preparing and learning about your landscape for winter, It could possibly be held in October on a Saturday afternoon, perhaps October 9.

We will do more planning on these at our August meeting.  CJ thought that Johnson Creek Middle School could be available for these events.  We could also tape the events and post the videos on our website.   Some names for a videographer were proposed.


Janet was contacted by Ariana Homes from the League of Conservation Voters.  Janet emailed Linda further information. If anyone is interested in joining the League of Conservation Voters work on Fair Maps in Wisconsin, please contact Linda for more info.

Kasy reported on her sales of raspberries.

Kasy and the Clean Sweep coordinator, Caitlin McAleavey , will be at the Jefferson County Fair on Friday, July 10 to answer recycling questions. 

Richard reported on the MREA event held on June 26.  They sold 450 tickets.  Unfortunately, it rained all day, so attendance was only about 100.  Speakers were very good.  Tom Pease and Dave Stokes had great programming for kids. Good sustainable, healthy food was available.  A solar powered brewery presented offerings. And there were tours of their new battery storage facility. 

The MREA fair is being planned for June (26th?) 2022.  Maybe SJ could have a booth or present information (perhaps from one of our fall events) There were over 100 workshops 2 years ago.

Richard’s family also attended a Dairy Breakfast in Two Rivers in Kewanee County.  The milk produced there is used to make mozzarella cheese.  While the farm is technically a CAFO, Richard was very impressed by the tour.  They use sustainable earth-friendly practices, such as no-till farming and they are managing their manure well.

Next meeting:  August 4th, 6PM at Kasy’s house – N7834 County Road X, Watertown.  This will be a potluck meal.  Since we’ll be outside, bring chairs. 

Motion to adjourn by Richard.  John seconded.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams, Secretary


Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

June 2, 2021

At Riverside Park, Watertown

Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Kathy Adams, Buck Smith, Richard Seibt, Kasy Culbertson, Janet McConaughey (Quorum established)

Others: CJ O’Neill, Amanda Langer, Joey Barganz (remotely)

Called to order at 6:13 pm.

May Minutes: Motion to approve by Kasy, second by Janet.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report


  • $118 from sale of seed potatoes

  • $8.16 from Amazon Smile

  • $.56 dividend from our Landmark account

Balance is $5603.86

A $35 check was written for a booth at the Waukesha Green Team event in August, but it hasn’t cleared the account yet.

Office of Treasurer:

Paul Moderacki was one of the original founders of Sustain Jefferson and has served admirably as Treasurer, even serving remotely from California in the last few years.

Ben Adams was asked and is willing to take on the role of treasurer.

Kasy moved to approve Ben Adams as Treasurer, John seconded. Richard amended the motion to require a transition period through November.  Approved by all.  None opposed.

Officers terms are reviewed yearly, (terms begin in November) and they don’t have to be on the board.  Board members have a 3-year term.


Joey Barganz reports the website is nearly complete.  He added media, pictures, events, and outreach activities on the front page.  He has transferred all the pages from the old website and given it a new look.  Remaining tasks are transferring the email hosting and a video tab.  Then he can transfer the domain over, so it leads to the new website.

Linda will use the transferred email list of ~350 to make a pledge for our bee project.  The gardening videos will be accessed through the video tab that Joey referred to.  The donor box is organized too.

Joey suspects it will take 2 more weeks to finish.

Kasy asked about the rollout of the new website.  In Linda’s email to the ~350 addresses, she plans to announce the new website, tell them about the donor box, and tell them about the bee project.

Richard asked about the membership list.  It needs updating.  Richard and Sarah will pull together membership information from when Sarah was last maintaining the list.

Social media is not part of Joey’s responsibilities.  Linda, Ellen, and Amanda are editors on the Facebook page.  We have an Instagram also.  Richard asked about getting an intern to increase our social media presence.  Short discussion of our options included hiring someone, doing it ourselves, or an intern who would not charge but appreciate listing it on their resume.

Micropark Thistle Pull

Amanda reports: We pulled 90% of the thistles in 2 workdays in May.  She suggests we return in mid-July for another weekday.  She would like to talk to Randy, our Parks connection about putting in an area of formal growth around our sign. 

Native Bee Project

John drew up plans for the informative signs.  Buck suggested we make 4.  Amanda reviewed the park also.

Our signage would be placed along a 2.27 mile loop.  Amanda will review the verbiage.  On Monday morning, Linda and Kathy will go to the Parks committee meeting to present what we are doing.

John reports estimates a cost of $75 per sign for a cedar-tone post and cedar trim.   Discussion ensued of how to make these properly so that they survive the elements.  Options include UV protected plexiglass and inks, printing on metal or vinyl sheeting.  Kevin W of the County Parks sent Buck information on some options.

The signs will be 40” tall to match the others.

Richard moved that we budget $1000 for the interpretive panels and bee houses to be installed at Dorothy Carnes County Park.  Janet seconded.  Approved by all.  None opposed.

Donations through the website will initially be towards this project.   Perhaps a cute bee drawing could be placed on the site next to the donate button. 

In response to a question, Camping sites are available at Dorothy Carnes park.  They can be booked through the Jefferson County website:

Richard suggested we have a picnic/party/camping opening event with a press release after the project is in place (October 2021). 

Our logo and website are planned to be on the signage.  Ideas:  QR code linked to a walking tour

Kasy referred to bilingual signage she had seen in Sauk County. The Hispanic community could benefit from bilingual descriptions.  Perhaps we could place a small box at the start of the trail with Spanish translation of the signs.

Clean Sweep coordinator, Caitlin McAleavey would like to have a table at the County Fair with info on Recycling staffed with people available to answer Q’s on recycling in the county.  We are looking for people interested in joining Caitin at the table on Friday or Saturday (July 10 & 11).

Caitlin is starting a “Before You Throw” campaign with info on how to prepare recyclables such as breaking down boxes, caps on bottles, etc.  We could link to the information on our website and Facebook page.

Any people interested in sitting with Caitlin at the County Fair booth should contact Linda N.

Mark your calendars for August 8th, to hear John Ikerd speak at the event for “Preserving our Ixonia Countryside” It will be at the Oconomowoc Community Center (on Wisconsin Ave).  We will set up a table there partly to promote Sustain Jefferson and partly to educate people on Regenerative Agriculture.  Gabe Brown’s clips on Regen Ag may be useful.


Janet suggests that we make a list of what we be comfortable teaching (approximately ½ hour).  We can draw from this list when we have future events.  One example among many possibilities:  making home-made soaps using herbs

Richard reminded us of the MREA mega-member meeting on Saturday June 26th.  Since SJ is a member, we could send 2 people for $60 each.  It’s a fundraiser too, offering 4 keynote speakers and bands and entertainment for all ages, farm to table food offerings)

Kasy offered pink peonies for those who want them.

Linda reviewed our April Rummage Sale and suggested it would be best to separate the plant/potato sales event from the rummage sale (two different weekends). 

Our next meeting will be a potluck on July 7th at 6:00 pm at the Nichols home. 

Motion to adjourn was made by John, seconded by Janet.  All agreed.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:33 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams, Secretary


Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

May 5, 2021

Backyard of Mike & Ellen Klaus, Watertown

Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Buck Smith, Kathy Adams, Mike Klaus, (Quorum established)

Others: Ben Adams, CJ O’Neill, Ellen Klaus, Katherine Heller, Paul Moderacki

Called to order at 6:13 pm.

April Minutes: Motion to approve by John, second by Buck.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report We received $1382.23 revenue for the month (rummage sale).  We wrote a $75.00 check to the MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association).  We earned .36 in interest on our account.   Net income for the month is $1307.23. Our current balance is $5477.23 

MREA Member Celebration on Saturday, June 26 is an all day event with a general meeting, keynote speakers, bands, and family-friendly activities ($60 for MREA member adults, $20 for youth, 12 & under are free)

Discussion of Future Event possibilities for SJ: 

  • Linda Conroy event?

  • Johnson Creek will have another village wide sale on August 20-21

Potato Sale report:  We sold all except 28 pounds.  There are ‘Superior’ and ‘Peter Wilcox’ left

Thistle Pulling volunteers needed at the micropark on the corner of Concord and Oconomowoc Avenues in Watertown on Saturday, April 9th

Brief discussion of considering Dahlias (from the Dahlia Society) as a sale possiblity in the future.  But since Dahlias are not native to our region, we decided against it.

Native Bees at Dorothy Carnes Park:  Buck, Linda, and Kathy met with Kevin to view part of the park.  Planning Committee (consists of Linda Nichols, Janet McConaughey, Amanda Langer, Buck Smith, and Kathy Adams) will meet May 10 at 6:30pm at the Nichols home.  Construction of Interpretive Panels and native bee houses will be discussed.  Budgeting for materials to be discussed.

Sustainability Fair  at the Retzer Nature Center on August 28, organized by the Waukesha County Green Team.  SJ plans to set up a booth with a regenerative agriculture theme

The Preserving Our Ixonia Countryside has now invited Dr. John Ikerd to speak on August 8th.  This event had been delayed due to COVID-19.  We contributed $250 last spring for John’s travel expenses for the event.

Tech Report (via Linda Nichols)

Joey Barganz, our technical assistant has been working on a donation button for our website.  It’s almost ready.

Announcements: Ellen Klaus passed out brochures for a wonderful and active organization, The Prairie Enthusiasts.  The Parsnip Predator tool (used for our Thistle Pulling) is sold by this organization.  Both Ellen and Amanda are currently members.

Kudoes to Katherine Heller for her recent Facebook posts during Tree Week!

Ben Adams mentioned the Nachusa Grasslands – a large tract of prairie with bison near Dixon, Illinois

Ben brought young Red Oak, Highbush Cranberry, and Hazelnut shrubs to share.

Ellen mentioned that we could have a speaker resource on Green Burials.  She’s from Galena, IL.  Perhaps on a Friday afternoon or evening at Johnson Creek Community Center.

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, June 2nd, 6 PM at Riverside Park in Watertown.

Mike made a motion to adjourn.  Buck seconded.  All approved.   Meeting adjourned at 6:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams,



Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

April 7, 2021

Via Zoom


Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Buck Smith, Kathy Adams, Mike Klaus, Janet McConaughey, Richard Seibt, Paul Moderacki (Quorum established)

Others: CJ O’Neill, Ellen Klaus, Amanda Langer, Joey Barganz, Katherine Heller

Called to order at 6:05

March Minutes: Motion to approve by Richard, second by John.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report $64.00 expenditure for P.O. Box,  $10.00 for Wisconsin Fee  .36 in dividends  - $4170 currently in the account 

Tech Report

We welcome Joey Barganz as our new technical assistant.  He has been working on the donor capability for our website.  Paul has been testing passwords and will pass them on to Joey.  Paul suggested that Joey check out a website analysis service (based in Halifax) that may be able to increase our traffic on the web. 

SJ Debit Card: Paul also suggested that we get a debit card for Sustain Jefferson.  We have instead been using our personal accounts and getting reimbursed.   Richard moved that we get the debit card.  John seconded this.  And it was approved unanimously.

Rummage and plant Sale:  John will pick up the seed potatoes on the 16th and they will be sorted at the Nichols house.  Linda recorded a list of seedlings and plants to be listed in sales ads.  Setup is on Thursday April 22  with the sale on the 23rd and 24th in CJ’s garage and on her driveway.

Recycling Score Sheet tabled for now.  The goal is to publish something on our website.

Newspaper articles tabled for now

Book study:  The Overstory by Richard Powers. Buck has a ZOOM account we can use for our meeting without time limit.  Amanda will be sending out the invites for those participating.

Micropark on Concord Ave & Oconomowoc Ave in Watertown – it has been recently mown.  Linda and Amanda will look at it in a couple weeks to see what sort of vegetation is growing.

Mason Farm native bee project:  Amanda, Janet, Buck, and Kathy A will meet at Dorothy Carnes County Park with Kevin Wiesmann of the County Parks Committee to look at the land and evaluate it for mason bees.  Linda will contact Kevin to set up a time.

Mike moved that we adjourn.  Buck seconded.  Approved unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 7:03 PM

Our next meeting will be Wednesday May 5th at 6PM.  Location TBD.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams,



Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting

March 3, 2021



Board Members Present: Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Buck Smith, Kathy Adams, Mike Klaus, Janet McConaughey, Paul Moderacki (Quorum established)

Others: CJ O’Neill, Ellen Klaus, Amanda Langer, Dr. Karen Wright, Susanna Fricker

Called to order at 6:38

February Minutes: Motion to approve by Janet McConaughey & Buck Smith.  Approved unanimously.

Financial Report - $4243.64     $10.23 from Amazon smile  and .32 in dividends

Tech Report

Susannah states website is waiting to transfer to new host.  She planned to confer with Paul M to complete this. 

Rummage and plant Sale:  Setup  on Thursday April 22  with sale on 23rd and 24th

Kathy Adams will start a Google doc for sign up the event (or perhaps Sign up Genius)  The event will be published with the name of “Second Life Items and Gardening Store”

Recycling Score Sheet tabled for now.  The goal is to publish something on our website.

Video on Container Gardening: Mary Branson is willing to do this – perhaps filmed at the end of March.  Linda will contact Mary on this.

Book study:  The Overstory OR Braiding Sweetgrass   during the month of April.

As a result of Doug Tallamy’s “Bringing Nature Home” book study, there’s interest in outside projects.  Amanda plans to contact Greg David about the micro-park at the intersection of Oconomowoc Ave and Concord Ave in Watertown.  We will have a weed pulling party .

Regarding the Mason Farm native bee project, Linda will contact Kevin Weissman, who has ordered the plants this spring for the Dorothy Carnes County Park.

Our work will be at the Mason farm which has already existing plants to set up native bees there.

Rather than establishing mason bee homes, perhaps we should put up signage about the variety of natural pollinators and their relationship to the flowers and plants.  Perhaps we could use photos from the bee book that Dr. Wright recommended (The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees by Olivia J. Messinger Carrill).   Paperback is $22.00 on Amazon.

Richard is interested in an annual project to make the disposable straws/tubes for the native bee homes 4-H or Future Farmers of America (bees are livestock)  Perhaps a project idea for the future?

Articles for sustainability?  Ellen proposed an educational article as a platform for us with alternating authors with a committee to authorize to go forward and then to edit.  Perhaps we could also review books or movies on germane topics.  Or have guest lecturers write 90-100 word artlicles.  Perhaps Ms. Wright?   A Zoom meeting to discuss these articles is planned with potentially Linda, Ellen, Amy Rinard, Kathy Adams, Katherine, and Amanda.


Richard encourages us to watch ECHO Valley Hope zooms every Sunday – especially the recent program they had on the sacredness of seeds:

Mike asked about a virtual MREA show for this year- Richard reports that they will not have the 2021 energy show, but there will be a virtual member- only show.  They are instead working on the 2022 fair – which is sure to be fabulous after the long pause.

Mike recommends the book, “Ministry for the Future” – discussing rights of the future generation as pertain to these threats:  global warming, diversity, climate change, sea level rise.  It is a long but GOOD read.

Mike moved to adjourn.  Seconded by John Nichols.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30

Our next meeting will be April 7, 2021 at 6PM via ZOOM.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Adams,


Sustain Jefferson Board Meeting


February 3, 2021


Board Members Present: Kasy Culbertson, Kathy Adams, Linda Nichols, John Nichols, Buck Smith, Richard Seibt, Mike Klaus, Janet McConaughey (Quorum established)

Others: CJ O’Neill, Kathy Heller, Paul Moderacki, Ellen Klaus, Amanda Langer

Meeting called to order at 6:05 PM.

January Minutes:  Kasy moved to approve. John seconded.  Approved by all.  Minutes approved unanimously.


January Financial Report

.36 Dividend

$4233.09 current balance

Rummage, Potatoes, and Plant Sale

Friday, April 23 – Saturday, April 24, 2021 as part of the Johnson Creek Village Sale

Our sale will use CJ’s garage and driveway.

We will have a sign saying masks are required on this private property.  CJ has a supply of masks to be handed out as needed.  Buck, CJ, and others will have materials for sale.

John made the motion that we hold this rummage sale.  Janet seconded.  Approved by all.

We discussed posting photos and descriptions of sale items on FaceBook Marketplace before the sale to keep personal contact minimized during the sale.  All items would be sold at and picked up at the garage sale, first come, first served.

Also offered for sale will be seed potatoes (145 pounds), donated plants, raspberries from Kasy (from jumping worm free soil!), and sweet potatoes from Janet (in purchased potting soil).


Seed starting could be videotaped as our 2nd garden video. 

According to Janet, Mary Branson volunteered to do a container plant video

Mason Farm, Mason (Native) Bees

Per a discussion in the most recent Jefferson County Parks committee meeting, which Buck attended, there is an ordinance stating the general public can buy a bee hive permit for $30.  There are stipulations attached. The hive can’t be within 200 feet of a property line and can’t be within 50 feet of a path.  Buck relayed our interest in mason bees and bee habitat at Dorothy Carnes Park.  We would need to make the bee houses and set them out, perhaps in May or June.  We can check in August to see if the bees have taken residence. 

How would people access the signage for bee education?  Perhaps a mowed path?  Buck has a meeting next week where they will discuss the placement of the signage. 

Perhaps we can invite Liz Walsh, a bee expert, who was a native of Johnson Creek, to one of our board meetings to discuss native bees and the native plants they require?

Per Amanda Langer, the Book Study group is finishing up its study of Doug Tallamy’s “Bringing Nature Home” next week. 

There were some great discussions, questions, and interest in taking care of a few local areas.  One of the areas discussed was the Watertown MicroPark (approx. ¼ acre) on the corner of Concord and Oconomowoc Avenues(by the bridge).  Ellen shared her knowledge of the park:  Greg David put a lot of work into it initially.  Over the years, thistle has taken hold there.  Tentatively, perhaps in May, Amanda could look at the site.  Greg could also be contacted for his insight.

Future Possible Event: David Stokes – discussed last month also.   Linda suggested planning to start in the fall to bring him to a Sustain Jefferson event and pay him appropriately.  He would draw a large family attendance.

Ellen thought Peter Hartz could also present a great program.  He is an expert on water reclamation (kid-focused)

Perhaps we could have an annual fall event for kids.


Kasy discussed the Recycling Score Sheet (as begun by Waukesha County Green Team)

Kasy requests that we look over these items and decide if there are any we should take out or add to this list.  Kasy has asked that this be done before the next meeting.  She will email out the list to the board.  This is in preparation for sending this to the public or our email list.

Katherine & Kasy would go forward to find out what the recycling companies in Jefferson County are doing with these items.

The most important part is that they get back the correct answers on the recycling at those companies.

This will also be on the agenda again for next month.

Paul suggested that with the next Supervisor election, we look for pro-earth candidates.  As they go around knocking on doors, they could share the recycling information.  Paul will send Linda the posters for citizen’s education on how his community’s recyclables are handed.  Perhaps it could be used as a model for our work on recycling education.  Paul recommends a Netflix series called “Dirty Money” - one episode is on a plastics manufacturer.

Per John, we need to look upstream and should push for more efficient packaging.  At his company, if they changed their packaging process, they could save 430,000 pounds of garbage every year and 53 semis would be taken off the road.  The company was interested because it also saved them money.  But the final decision is up to their customers, the businesses that retail their products.

Richard reminded us of the women in Wisconsin who originally developed the numbering system for recycling plastics – and perhaps they could speak to us (after we determine how to reach them).

Linda moved to adjourn the meeting.  Seconded by Kasy.  All approved.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:42pm.

Our next meeting will be March 3, 2021 at 6PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Adams,