Women in Ag: Farmers As Conservationists
I work with producers on a day-to-day basis that chose to
implement conservation practices into their operations. What I hear from them
is that they want to solve a problem that occurs in their operation. This is
wonderful! But, through the entire time of the decision making process I never
hear from them an indication of how they think of themselves as
conservationists. The practices implemented on farms are important and it is
just as important to know what they are doing for you, your operation, and your
community. The most important part is communicating to neighbors and community
members, what conservation practices you are implementing and why you are doing
There has been a movement, or rather a shift in thinking by
consumers the past 20 years about how farmers operate and take care of their
natural resources. Some consumers, and consumer groups think that the only
concern on farmer’s minds are making a buck. We both know that’s not true. The
key to turning this around is changing how WE think. By thinking of ourselves
as conservators and caretakers of the land, we take ownership of the conservation
practices we have implement into our operations.
Conservation is every farmer’s responsibility. You want your
soil preserved just as much as generations after you. The practices you have
implemented doesn’t mean they have to be under a contract at your local FSA
office in the CRP program. It may mean you have implemented practices on your
own. Such as windbreaks that shelter your house and crops that can save you on
energy bills, and reduce soil erosion. Can you think of some conservation practices
you have implemented on your own? Think about what made you make that decision
and move forward with new practices this fall. In Iowa there is grant money for
producers who plant cover crops for the first time this year. Call your local
NRCS office to learn more.
By not only thinking about our conservation practices we
have implemented into our operations but simply thinking of ourselves as
conservationists, we can easily turn the minds of those around you by simply
talking about it. This world needs a little more realism, instead of fabricated
thinking from people not living the farm or ranch life.
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