In 2012, Laura and her husband, Andy, stumbled upon a small remnant of an old dairy farm for sale while vacationing in the Driftless Area. The pastures were significantly overgrown, but the property’s views to the south, east and west—which they later learned was the Sugar Creek Bluff State Natural Area—took their breath away. They weren’t looking for real estate, but they scraped enough together and “bought the farm” anyway, leaving their much-loved Milwaukee area neighborhood in 2017 to make Ferryville their full-time home.
About seven acres of the property is permanently enrolled in the Grassland Reserve Program. With the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), they implemented a conservation-based rotational grazing plan and now rely on their sheep and alpacas to keep the vegetation in check.
Professionally speaking, Laura’s career in business communications and marketing spans more than 30 years and includes writing for global corporations, healthcare organizations and creative agencies. She has also written features, essays and book reviews for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Likewise, Salon has also published one of her essays about her first introduction to her daughter, whom she adopted from Romania.
As someone who daydreamed her childhood away imagining living in the hollows of trees and among the animals, her dream has pretty much come true. In addition to the “sheeple” and alpacas, she and Andy have three dogs and five cats. They also grow USDA-certified organic garlic.
Laura welcomes the opportunity to turn her energy toward caring for the land and the animals and plants that live there, and through the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, helping others become inspired do the same.