Embracing Conservation has Plenty of Benefits

Embracing Conservation has Plenty of Benefits

News Type: Regional, Federal Source: AgWeek
Click here to read the article: https://www.agweek.com/opinion/columns/6632327-Embracing-conservation-has-plenty-of-benefits

My outlook on conservation expanded when I first started my career in journalism. I was fortunate to meet many people who were involved in national conservation efforts, including Bill Richards who became head of the Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1990. As an Ohio farmer, Richards truly understood the benefits of protecting soil and water. Often described as the “the Grandfather of No-Till,” he was thinking about soil health before it was cool.

So, when I had the chance to buy and inherit parts of our family farm earlier this year — fields that have been in the family since my great grandfather started farming in the early 1900’s — I knew what type of landlord I wanted to be. I wanted to invest in making the farm better. Mother Nature had not been kind last year and the record rains in 2019 had taken a toll. There were washouts and gullies that needed some serious repairs, as did one of the terraces. I wanted to find a renter who was willing to embrace no-till and cover crops.

Luckily, I was able to find a young farm family who embraced many of the same conservation principles I did. They’ve got a great looking crop of no-till beans and if the weather allows, there will be cover crops planted this fall.