Conservation Legacy

Share Your Story and Showcase Your Accomplishments
Today’s farmers use various modern agriculture tools and effective conservation practices to enhance the overall sustainability of their operations.  The Conservation Legacy Awards recognizes farm management practices of U.S. soybean farmers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable.

Are you using a unique reduced tillage practice on your farm? Do you grow cover crops? Have you taken steps to improve energy efficiency or water quality? These are just a few conservation practices used on many farms today that help produce sustainable U.S. soybeans. Different regions of the country have their own unique challenges and ways to approach conservation and sustainability. We want to hear your farm’s conservation story!  Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Conservation Legacy Awards.

A new region has been added to this year’s awards.  Winners will now be selected from four regions – the Midwest, Upper Midwest, the Northeast and the South. One of these award recipients will be named the National Conservation Legacy Award Winner at the 2019 Commodity Classic.

Award Winners Receive:

  • An expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, Feb. 28 – March 2, 2019, in Orlando, Florida.
  • Recognition at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic.
  • A feature story in Corn & Soybean Digest and a video, featuring your farm and conservation practices.
  • Potential opportunity for the national winner to join other farmer-leaders on an international trip to visit U.S. soy customers of overseas.

All applications must be submitted online. Mailed applications WILL NOT be considered.

2019 Conservation Legacy Awards Application

Application Deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2018.

Submission Instructions:

  1. Click here to print a blank copy of the application form. It is helpful to do this so you can review the information needed and have time to prepare your answers and obtain the required attachments.
  2. When you have your answers outlined and the attachments ready to submit, click on the application link and fill in the online application form. Attach the appropriate files and submit your application.
  3. After you submit your application a confirmation will be emailed to you with a copy of the information you submitted.

Questions regarding the Conservation Legacy Awards may be directed to Michelle Hummel in the ASA office at (314) 754-1328 or mhummel@soy.org.

SPONSORS:

VIDEOS
See below for on-farm videos about the conservation efforts of award winners.

VIDEO-2018-Midwest Region Winner: Mark Schleisman, of Lake City, Iowa

VIDEO-2018-Northeast Region Winners: David and Linda Burrier, of Union Bridge, Md.

VIDEO-2018-Southern Region Winner: Grant Norwood, of Mansfield, Tenn.

VIDEO-2017-Midwest Region Winner: Andy Bensend, Dallas, Wis. (National Winner)

VIDEO-2017 Northeast Region Winner: Keith Masser, Sacramento, Pa.

VIDEO-2017-South Region Winner: Matt Griggs, Humboldt, Tenn.

VIDEO - 2016 Midwest Region Winner: Windsor Farms, Andy Winsor, Grantville, Kan.(National Winner)
Three generations of Winsors have been working since the 1940s to sustain soil and water resources on their family farm in northeastern Kansas. They have taken on the challenges of safely farming sandy flat lands bordering the Kansas River, to protecting highly erodible soils as flat lands extend into the hills between Lawrence and Topeka.

Andy Winsor gives much of the credit for this award to the generations before him who initiated the farm’s conservation program. “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.”

Andy and his wife, LaVell, farm 4,400 acres with Andy’s parents Russell and Pat, his brother Ben and his wife Emily. Ben specializes in livestock and Andy and Russell handle cropland operations.

VIDEO - 2016 Northeast Region Winner: Cory Atkins, Seaford, Del.
Northeast Region Winner Cory Atkins has a “never till” mindset. The southwest Delaware farmer is 100 percent no-till on all his grain crops, and moving closer to that on his vegetable crops. While he is not using no-till at this time on his watermelons and green beans, he has had success with no-till on lima beans.

“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.” Instead, Atkins is improving poor soil structure and boosting organic matter with a combination of no-till and cover crops.

Atkins explains further, “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.”

VIDEO - 2016 South Region Winner: John Verrell, Jackson, Tenn.
 John Verell farms about 4,500 acres near Jackson, Tennessee, alongside his dad Alan, and his 91-year-old granddad John, Sr. He watched how quickly technology was changing in agriculture when he was working on an associate degree in precision agriculture and later while pursuing an agronomy degree from Murray State University in Kentucky.

“Back then, we analyzed soil samples and used NDVI to pick up different vegetative growth patterns in our fields. We saw the need for variable rate fertilizer, and started that while I was still in school. 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.”

Verell has also planted grass buffer strips along streams to protect wildlife and established a pollinator habitat on his operation through a new pollinator program offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

CONSERVATION LEGACY AWARD WINNERS

2018 Midwest Region Winner: Mark Schleisman, of Lake City, Iowa
2018 Northeast Region Winners: David and Linda Burrier, of Union Bridge, Md.
2018 Southern Region Winner: Grant Norwood, of Mansfield, Tenn.
2018 National Winner: Mark Schleisman, of Lake City, Iowa

2017 Midwest Region Winner: Andy Bensend, Wisconsin
2017 Northeast Region Winner: Keith Masser, Sacramento, Pa.
2017 South Region Winner: Matt Griggs, Humboldt, Tenn.
2017 National Winner: Andy Bensend, Dallas, Wisconsin

2016 Midwest Region Winner: Windsor Farms, Andy Winsor, Grantville, Kan.
2016 Northeast Region Winner: Cory Atkins, Seaford, Del.
2016 South Region Winner: John Verrell, Jackson, Tenn.
2016 National- Windsor Farms, Andy Winsor, Grantville, Kan.

2015 Midwest Region – Steve Berger, Dennis Berger & Son, Inc., Wellman, Iowa
2015 Northeast Region – Mike Starkey, M & J Farms, Brownsburg, Indiana
2015 South Region – Jimmy Thomas, Thomas Family Farms, Timberlake, N.C.
2015 National – Steve Berger, Dennis Berger & Son, Inc., Wellman, Iowa

2014 Midwest Region – David Ausberger, Ausberger Farms, Jefferson, Iowa
2014 Northeast Region – Mark & Phyllis Legan, Legan Livestock & Grain, Coatesville, Ind.
2014 South Region – Jerry Peery, Springhill Farms, Clinton, Ky.
2014 National – David Ausberger, Ausberger Farms, Jefferson, Iowa

2013 Midwest Region – Gail Fuller, Fuller Farms, Emporia, Kan.
2013 Northeast Region – Roger Wenning, Wenning Farms, Greensburg, Ind.
2013 South Region – Jeremy Jack, Silent Shade Planting Company, Belzoni, Miss.
2013 National – Gail Fuller, Fuller Farms, Emporia, Kan.

2012 Midwest Region – Ryan Speer, Jacob Farms, Sedgwick, Kan.
2012 Northeast Region – Rodney Rulon, Rulon Enterprises, Arcadia, Ind.
2012 South Region – E. Cullen Bryant, Bryant Farms, Dillon, S.C.
2012 National – Rodney Rulon, Rulon Enterprises, Arcadia, Ind.

2011 Midwest Region – Ed Ulch, Ulch Farms, Solon, Iowa
2011 Northeast Region – Henry Kallal, Kallal Farms, Jerseyville, Ill.
2011 South Region – Richard Jameson, Jameson Farms, Brownsville, Tenn.
2011 National – Ed Ulch, Ulch Farms, Solon, Iowa

2010 Midwest Region – Josh Lloyd, Lloyd Farms, Clay Center, Kan.
2010 Northeast Region – H. Grant Troop, Troop Farms, Oxford, Penn.
2010 South Region – Malcolm Oats, Four Mile Farm, Hopkinsville, Ky.
2010 National – Josh Lloyd, Lloyd Farms, Clay Center, Kan.

2009 Midwest Region – Dean & Mike Coleman, Coleman Farms, Humboldt, Iowa
2009 Northeast Region – John Buck, Buck Farms, New Bloomington, Ohio
2009 South Region – Phillip & Rick Castlen, Castlen Brothers Farms, Owensboro, Ky.
2009 National – John Buck, Buck Farms, New Bloomington, Ohio

Changed from four regions to three regions

2008 Midwest Region – Wayne Corse, Swampeast Acres, Charleston, Mo.
2008 Northeast Region – Jim & Jaime Scott, J A Scott Farms Inc, Pierceton, Ind.
2008 South Region – J. C. Rountree, Rountree Farms, South Mills, N.C.
2008 West Region – Kevin Compton, Compton Farms, Hiawatha, Kan.
2008 National – Jim, Cathy & Jaime Scott, J.A. Scott Farms Inc, Pierceton, Ind.

2007 Midwest Region – James Andrew, Andrew Farms Inc, Jefferson, Iowa
2007 Northeast Region – Sam Hancock, Hancock Family Farms, Fulton, Ky.
2007 South Region – Thomas E. Lee, T.S. Lee & Sons Inc, Alcolu, S.C.
2007 West Region – Eugene Swearingen, Bryn Pleasant Farms, Hiawatha, Kan.
2007 National – James Andrew, Andrew Farms Inc, Jefferson, Iowa

2006 Midwest Region – Lawrence Sukalski, Fairmont, Minn.
2006 Northeast Region – Richard Kohlhagen, Kohlhagen Farms, Rensselaer, Ind.
2006 South Region – Steve Gamble, Steve Gamble & Sons Farm, Sardinia, S.C.
2006 West Region – Keith Thompson, Thompson Farms, Osage City, Kan.
2006 National – Lawrence Sukalski, Fairmont, Minn.

2005 Midwest Region – Alan Madison, Walnut, Ill.
2005 Northeast Region – William Lee Miller, Conservation Acres Farm, Terre Haute, Ind.
2005 South Region – Joe Derrick, Derrick Farms, Johnston, S.C.
2005 West Region – Kent Romine, Kent Romine Farms, Great Bend, Kan.
2005 National – William Lee Miller, Conservation Acres Farm, Terre Haute, Ind.

2004 Midwest Region – Mark Jackson, Jackson Farms, Rose Hill, Iowa
2004 Northeast Region – David & Stanley Hula, Renwood Farms, Charles City, Va.
2004 South Region – Darryl Corriher, C & H Grain LLC, China Grove, N.C.
2004 West Region – Philip and Dwight Lohrenz, Burrton, Kan.
2004 National – Mark Jackson, Jackson Farms, Rose Hill, Iowa

2003 Midwest Region – Delbert Price, Alexis, Ill.
2003 Northeast Region – Jan Layman, Layman Farms, Kenton, Ohio
2003 South Region – Earl Brown Hendrix, Hendrix Farms, Raeford, N.C.
2003 West Region – Harold Kraus, K.U. Farms, Hays, Kansas
2003 National – Delbert Price, Alexis, Ill.

2002 Midwest Region – Sandy Ludeman, SanMarBo Farms Inc, Tracy, Minn.
2002 Northeast Region – Mark Watkins, Watkins Farm, Kenton, Ohio
2002 South Region – Marc Curtis, Heads Planting Co., Leland, Miss.
2002 West Region – Jerry Newsham, Cedar Ridge Farms, Ashland, Neb.
2002 National – Sandy Ludeman, SanMarBo Farms Inc, Tracy, Minn.