A conservation partnership utilizing a Farm Service Agency conservation program has allowed Iowa landowners to restore 72 shallow wetlands to improve surface water, increase wildlife habitat and provide recreational opportunities.
Conservation Program Restores Areas and Regains Environmental Benefits
Iowa is considered one of the most ecologically altered states in the nation. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports that about 10 percent of the state’s surface area was once comprised of wetlands, but that changed. Nearly 95 percent of the wetland basins were drained resulting in a loss of ecological benefits. Continue reading
Dan O’Hair, a fifth generation farmer and rancher in Oklahoma followed in his father’s footsteps by preserving the land using conservation programs.
Dan O’Hair is a fifth generation farmer/rancher who lives on a Centennial Farm in the far southeast corner of “No Man’s Land” in Oklahoma. In 1901, his great grandfather and grandfather each staked claim to 160 acres through the Homestead Act. His parents remained on the farm throughout the 1930s depression and Dust Bowl Era. The endurance and persistence of his father led to a significant increase of farm acreage.
“Although the Dust Bowl was tough, there was rainfall and crops were raised on their farm,” said O’Hair. Continue reading
Minnesota Farmer, Carl “Russ” Pilegarrd, has participated in the Conservation Reserve Program from the start. He uses wetland buffers and shelter belts to prevent erosion, improve soil and water quality and promote wildlife habitat.
When the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was enacted in December of 1985, Carl “Russ” Pilegaard, a Minnesota farmer knew the program was something he needed to incorporate into his farming operation so he reached out to his local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
Pilegaard was one of the first farmers in Minnesota to participate in CRP when, in 1986, he enrolled 108 acres of his farm near Ruthton in Murray County into the program. Continue reading
USDA, conservation partners and landowners worked together to protect the Tualatin River Watershed by restoring fish habitat and cooling the stream.
Farmers and ranchers in Oregon have more than the 30th anniversary of USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to celebrate in 2015. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) state staff can also boast about a 10-year partnership that made the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) available to Oregon producers to protect the Tualatin River Watershed.
The local CREP concept all started during a gathering at Ralph Duyck’s farm near Forest Grove in 2005 when a group of conservation enthusiasts came together with the goal of protecting water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. Continue reading
Larry and Kay Rutter made a commitment to conservation by creating forested areas on their corn and soybean farm in Kansas in order to improve the quality of water that leaves their farm through Coon Creek.
A few years ago, Kanas farmers Larry and Kay Rutter were thinking about trees. Their farm is located near Harveyville, which is 20 miles southwest of Topeka. They considered growing more trees on their farm; trees with a purpose.
The Rutters made an investment in conservation. They began on land where they had been growing no-till corn and soybeans. They were hoping that converting a few acres would have long-term benefits for their farm and family. Continue reading
Illinois producers, Tom and Margaret Hitzhusen, have implemented a variety of conservation programs to help reduce erosion and make soil and water improvements on their 148-acre farm.
Tom and Margaret Hitzhusen knew they had their work cut out for them when 18 years ago they purchased a 148-acre farm near Geneseo, a picturesque rural community along I-80 20 miles east of Moline, Illinois.
“The land was in pretty poor condition and suffered significant amounts of erosion over the years,” said Tom Hitzhusen. “Some of the more visible problems were erosion of the stream banks and gullies.”
The Hitzhusens used the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to make soil and water improvements on their farm. Continue reading
Mississippi landowner, Leo Pittman Edwards, has always made conserving and improving his land a priority. With 500 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), he has seen an improvement in erosion control and wildlife habitat on his land in the Mississippi Delta.
Leo Pittman Edwards, a landowner near Cleveland in Bolivar County, Mississippi, has worked to improve the land on his farm for many years. Edwards’ land is located in the Mississippi Delta near a bogue, or a stream, making the land highly susceptible to erosion.
Edwards, a retired insurance agent, worked with the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in the early 1990s to help preserve and restore wetland areas. In 1998, Edwards returned to the Bolivar County FSA office looking for a conservation program to help control erosion and prevent his land from washing away. Continue reading
FSA Administrator Val Dolcini celebrates Art Hulberg’s 100th Birthday and his 30 year commitment to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). (Photo courtesy of Deb Mercier, News Editor, Pope County Tribune)
Dedicates Last Three Decades Solely to Conservation
By Brenda Carlson, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Farm Service Agency
Born in 1915, Minnesota farmer and conservationist Arthur “Art” Hulberg celebrated his 100th birthday this year, and if that milestone weren’t significant enough, 2015 also marks the 30th anniversary of USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)–a program in which Hulberg has participated since its inception. To commemorate the centenarian’s lifelong commitment to agriculture and conservations as well as USDA’s flagship conservation program, FSA Administrator Val Dolcini traveled to Benson, Minnesota, to personally offer birthday wishes and hand deliver a message of gratitude from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The ceremony capped an open house in honor of Hulberg and his dedicated participation in CRP. Continue reading
As part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Conservation Reserve Program, FSA Administrator Val Dolcini recently visited the Hull’s dairy operation in Vermont to see conservation programs in action. The Hulls used a USDA conservation program to improve their operation and protect the Lake Champlain water basin.
Warren and Marie Hull, along with their sons Matt and Eric, know what it takes to produce high-quality milk while caring for the land on their Franklin County, Vermont, dairy farm. The Hulls have used many conservation practices and improvements on the farm over the years to protect the land and improve the water quality in the Lake Champlain water basin.
The Hull’s farm has been with the family for nearly 100 years. They currently milk 90 cows with another 80 dry cows or calves on the farm. Seven years ago, the Hulls enrolled more than 15 acres of pasture in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Continue reading
By: Kentucky Farm Service Agency
For the first 25 years of Daniel Hayden’s life, he has dedicated his time working on other people’s farms. He fed cows, cut hay, hauled tobacco and for the past five years, managed his parents’ Kentucky farm operation. But he never had his own farm.
That all changed last year. Continue reading