Congratulations go out to ILF farmer partner Tim Smith for earning the inaugural Good Steward Recognition Award from the National Corn Growers Association on February 28th.
Within the last few years, Smith has adopted several different conservation practices on the 820 corn and soybean acres he manages in Wright County. He is using a combination of practices including strip-tillage, nutrient management and cover crops to do his part in helping achieve the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals. He has installed a bioreactor to treat a portion of his tile drainage and is collecting water samples from the in-flow and out-flow structures and other tile drainage outlets to gain a better understanding how his practices are impacting water quality. Smith is also evaluating the soil health impacts of using strip-tillage and cover crops by collecting baseline soil samples.
Not only has Smith made the changes in operation, but he is sharing his experiences with others. He is featured in our newest Cover Crop DVD and has presented at many conferences including the 2014 Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference in January. Smith has cooperated on several Iowa Learning Farms field days and has written a great article about his experiences with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. You can find the article here.
The Good Steward Recognition program and award are sponsored by Howard G. Buffett Foundation as part of their Harvesting the Potential campaign to raise awareness among U.S. farmers of the importance of conservation agriculture.