The loss of a good conservationist

Kusel_switchgrass

Barry Kusel in one of his fields with switchgrass cover crop.

The ILF team was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of farmer partner Barry Kusel on Nov. 21.

Barry was part of the inaugural group of ILF farmer partners in 2005, and was an active partner, doing what he could any time that we asked for his help. Barry served as a guest speaker at field days and workshops, hosted a cover crop demonstration plot for one of our research grants, and appeared on our how-to video “Cover Crops: Farmer Perspectives.

A Carroll County corn-soybean farmer, Barry was a no-tiller and had added cover crops to reduce soil erosion and to improve water quality. He also grew cover crops for seed.  Barry was truly one of the good guys.

Barry was a guest speaker at the Smeltzer Farm field day near Otho. He was ready for anything with his tools attached to his belt.

Barry was a guest speaker at the Smeltzer Farm field day near Otho. He was ready for anything with his tools attached to his belt.

Barry was passionate about saving his soil for the next generation as well as generations beyond. He could see the big picture of the future of Iowa agriculture. In the video he says, “The problem with soil erosion is, one generation really doesn’t notice it. Two generations don’t notice it. But 4–500 years from now, somebody’s gonna notice it.  And then they’re gonna look back and say, “What the heck were those guys doing?”

Barry didn’t want to leave that kind of legacy. We hope that those who heard him speak, in person and on the video, will leave a similar legacy for Iowa farmers to come.

Barry Kusel talks about cover crops with attendees at an ILF field day near Webster City.

Barry Kusel talks about cover crops with attendees at an ILF field day near Webster City.

-Carol Brown

 

One thought on “The loss of a good conservationist

  1. Jerry Crew says:

    Barry was an outstanding advocate for no-till, and a steward of God’s gifts. I was privileged to know him as a kindred spirit. My guess is he is recruiting St. Pete and the heavenly gardens will be farmed w/o tillage and planted with cover crops!
    Jerry Crew

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