Osage County Conservation Awards

(Keith) Hi I’m Keith Badger at the Osage County Conservation District. We held our 74th Annual Meeting
tonight. We recognize family farms that excel in conservation stewardship and a young farmer’s award. And we also discussed the issues facing conservation and conservation in Osage County since we have two reservoirs in our county. Some of the issues are the runoff to the reservoirs, the siltation in the reservoirs and the quality of water. So we discussed how that’s going to affect the conservation district and the kind of programs that we’re going to have to offer to producers to improve the quality of runoff off of our farms and ranches. Conservations districts were born of the dust bowl. So soil conservation has always been the utmost concern of conservation districts. And probably the new buzz word in soil is soil health. And we’ve been working on cover crops, research with limited till, no till, nutrient fertilizer placement, multi-species cover crops to improve soil health and improve the bottom line of both the producer and what comes from the farms themselves. Tonight we were happy to announce that Silver Farms won the Key Bankers Conservation Award. And Ryan Kline won our Young Farmer’s Award. (Ryan) I’m Ryan and this is my wife Mandy. We farm right outside of Scranton, Kansas. We’re honored tonight to receive the Young Farmer Award for Osage County. We farm corn, beans and wheat in Osage County. Part of the reason that we won the award is because we do a lot of the CSP programs as far as like sprayers, upgrades and stuff. And other things you can do as far as no till. And there’s quite a few other programs out there, but we’ve been in it for years and years on keeping up with waterways and keeping our terraces built up and do some of the programs with that that they have down there at the Osage County District. For other young farmers I’d say it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. And a lot of it is just getting out there and getting involved in things and meeting people, your neighbors. Get your name out there if you’re wanting to farm and you’ll learn a lot of new contacts and stuff that way to get involved in farming and get out there and be able to do what you want to do. (Clint) We’re Silver Farms, LLC and we’re honored to be the recipients of the 2014 Banker’s Award Soil Conservation Award Winner. We’re a family farm. I came back and started farming with my Dad probably 11 years ago or so. He started soil conservation practices early on, waterways, terraces, things like that and we slowly progressed into maybe some more precision type agriculture with our equipment being all… I guess GPS, auto steer, auto shut off. Variable rate fertilizer based on the yield mappings and stuff like that. So, it’s progressed a little bit in that direction. I believe the more residue that’s there, you’re not getting the water movement on the ground or the soil movement and better water infiltration. So, I believe that that’s helped. One thing you do notice in the wintertime when the snow used to blow and fill the ditches and you would have wind storms in the winter and you had that tilled ground, a lot of the times the ditches where the snow was filled you would see black snow basically, so you knew the soil was moving. And you don’t see as much of that now with residue on the field. Obviously going into future
generations, if you are able to save some of that soil, and kind of do some key practices and things that you feel are beneficial Obviously that’s something that’s… you know, I have two boys and if it’s something that they want to do later down the road, you feel like maybe you are helping leave some of that for them or helping them out for future generations.

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