The Conservation Legacy Awards Program recognizes outstanding environmental and conservation efforts made by soybean farmers. The American Soybean Association has just announced the 2016 region winners.
Winsor Farms (Andy Winsor), Grantville, Kan. (Midwest Region)
Cory Atkins, Seaford, Del. (Northeast Region)
John Verell, Jackson, Tenn. (South Region)
Midwest Region – Andy Winsor of Grantville, Kansas is the third generation to practice conservation on the family’s highly erodible soil in the flat lands between Lawrence and Topeka. He gives much of the credit to his father and grandfather who began the work. “Grandpa and Dad started conservation efforts, building terraces and waterways and farming on the contour,” Andy says. “Having those practices in place allows my brother and I to implement newer conservation techniques, such as water management and cover crops.”
Northeast Region – Cory Atkins’ farm in Seaford, Delaware has land that is 100 percent no-till for his grain crops. “I’ve got land I call never till. I will never till it – there’s no structure on those sandy soils when they’re tilled.” Atkins spends his time improving poor soil structure and increasing organic matter. “Cover crops and no-till are the core of my conservation program, and to me, conservation is a big part of the total management package on the land I farm,” he explains.
South Region – John Verell has a degree in precision agriculture and agronomy from Murry State University in Kentucky and used what he learned there on his farming operation in Jackson, Tennessee. “We saw the need for variable rate fertilizer, and started that while I was still in school,” says Verrell. “We still use it – to this day, Granddad thinks variable rate fertilizer has increased our yield and added to our bottom line more than any other change we have made in the operation.”
The regional winners will be honored at the ASA Banquet during the Commodity Classic in New Orleans on March 4 and one will be named national winner at that time. The Conservation Legacy Awards Program is a national program designed to recognize the outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of soybean farmers. A national selection committee, composed of soybean farmers, conservationists, agronomists and natural resource professionals, evaluated nominations based on each farmer’s environmental and economic program. The achievements of these farmers serve as a positive example for other farmers and helps produce a more sustainable U.S. soybean crop. This program is sponsored by ASA, BASF, Monsanto, Corn & Soybean Digest and the United Soybean Board/Soybean Checkoff.