An ILF first: A field day in a church!

We were all set for the field day yesterday at Barry Kusel’s farm on the outskirts of Manning in Carroll County. Barry dug a root pit and was ready to show his neighbors and other folks in the area the conservation on his farm.  The weather had a different idea.  Right when the field day was to begin, it started raining and didn’t stop until the field day was over.  It didn’t stop the event.  We moved everything inside Barry’s church. The heavy rains didn’t stop people from coming. Over 50 people listened to Barry discuss his work with cover crops, strip tillage and no tillage. There were lots of questions and lots of engagement! The food was also great.

I have been to lots of field days over my time with ILF and this was the first time we have met in a church. I suppose it was fitting exchange since the rain last night was the answer to many farmers’ prayers.  I was impressed by the engagement of the farmers in the room and the quality of their questions for all the speakers.  It is clear that Barry is respected in his community and willing to encourage others to increase their conservation on their farms.

After the field day was over, several farmers commented to Aaron and I how much they enjoyed the evening and how glad they are we came to their community. Barry was a gracious host and the event was a success. And we got needed rain. Barry told me he plans to dig a pit and plan a field day once a week if we could get rain every time. Hopefully we can get back to look at his soil structure sometime in the future. Barry has been doing good conservation on his farm for decades and it shows in his soil.

Farmer partners like Barry are what make the Iowa Learning Farm successful. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with him and all the other terrific farmers who are a part of the team!

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