The Conservation Legacy Awards program showcases farm management practices of U.S. soybean producers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable. Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 awards.
Winners will be selected from three regions – the Midwest, the Northeast and the South. One of these award recipients will be named the National Conservation Legacy Award Winner at the 2016 Commodity Classic.
Award Winners Receive:
- An expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, March 3-5, 2016, in New Orleans, La,
- Recognition at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic.
- A feature on your farm and conservation practices in Corn & Soybean Digest and a special online video.
New this year, the national winner of the award also has the potential opportunity to join other farmer-leaders on an international trip to visit customers of U.S. soybeans overseas.
All applications must be submitted online. Mailed applications WILL NOT be considered.2016 Conservation Legacy Awards Program Online Application
Application Deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2015.
- Click on the application link and print out a blank copy of the application form so you can review the information needed and have time to prepare your answers and obtain the required attachments.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
See below for on-farm videos about the conservation efforts of past winners.
One of the first conservation measures Berger remembers experiencing as a child is building terraces. He helped build 15 miles around his fourth generation farm at Dennis Berger & Son Inc., to slow down the impact of the rainfall on soil erosion.
Berger farms with his mom, dad and wife on their 2,000 acre soybean and corn operation with 20,000 head swine. They’ve been heavily involved in soil conservation since the 1960s. The Bergers introduced no-till nearly 40 years ago and cover crops in the last 15 years. Berger said he believes that farmers must be shown conservation practices can work effectively and economically, so more of them will embrace conservation voluntarily.
The sixth generation Starkey family farm lies in an urban area just west of the metropolitan area of Indianapolis. In addition to a dramatic reduction of commercial fertilizer, Starkey has used no-till soybeans since 1989 and introduced cover crops in 2005. He also entered in a NRCS field grant study to monitor tile and stream water.
“My legacy as a conservationist is to improve and protect the borrowed living soil that God has given us and to keep our water clean and pure as the raindrops that fall from the sky,” Starkey said.
Thomas Family Farms Inc. is a traditional, diverse North Carolina operation incorporating corn, soybeans and wheat, tobacco and swine production.
Three generations worktogether at Thomas Family Farms: Pete and Levon Thomas; their sons Jimmy and Timmy; Jimmy’s wife Janine and two grandsons. The family incorporated a range of conservation practices into the entire operation. As they picked up new land through purchases or leases, they implemented no-till practices on the new farms. For the Thomas family, conservation means constant improvement.
“There will always be new generations of the family, new employees, and new technologies and new knowledge about the environment, and we have to be prepared to keep up,” Thomas said.
Jefferson, Iowa David Ausberger in cooperation with the Iowa Soybean Association developed a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan to reduce nutrient loss and better manage inputs. As a Certified Conservation Farmer, Ausberger shares his success with advanced conservation measures with other farmers in his area through more than 40 hours of classroom and field experience. Finally, Ausberger is part owner of a seven-turbine wind farm that generates enough electricity for his entire community.
2014 Midwest Region Winner (National Winner)
David Ausberger in cooperation with the Iowa Soybean Association developed a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan to reduce nutrient loss and better manage inputs. As a Certified Conservation Farmer,
Ausberger shares his success with advanced conservation measures with other farmers in his area through more than 40 hours of classroom and field experience. Finally, Ausberger is part owner of a seven-turbine wind farm that generates enough electricity for his entire community.
2014 Northeast Region Winner
The Legans’ operation is both 100 percent no-till and 100 percent cover cropped, which Phyllis says enhances soil biological activity and improves organic matter.
The Legans also utilize the manure from their large-scale hog operation as a nutrient for integration into their soil. Through drainage tiling, cover cropping, man-made wetlands and other methods, the Legans are also invested in smart water management on their farm as well.
2014 South Region Winner
Peery began no-till farming on his land after attending several field days with no-till pioneers Shirley Phillips and Harry Young, Jr., in the late 1960s, and since the mid-1980s, the Peery farm has been entirely no-till. In addition to no-till, Peery utilizes annual rotation, buffer strips and waterways, cover crops, advanced soil and tissue testing, and makes extensive use of GPS and other precision agriculture technology to allow for more precise application of inputs and collection of valuable data. This provides Peery with a vast set of data points from which to ensure he receives maximum benefits from the smallest amount of inputs and environmental impact. Technology is a key component of the modern-day operation for Peery, who started with a 1949 Allis Chalmers and a harvester with a 10-foot header. Today, Peery harvests with a cutting-edge tractor and combine technology.
2013 Midwest Region Winner (National Winner)
Gail Fuller approaches conservation on his Kansas farm with a heavy emphasis on soil health including continuous no-till, utilizing cover crops and maximizing microbes. He always looks for ways to reduce inputs. Fuller is working to rebuild the quail population and has added a livestock component to his farm.
2013 Northeast Region Winner
Roger Wenning’s conservation efforts on his Indiana farm include a commitment to soil health and no-till farming. He continually experiments with cover crops and evaluates for best results. Wenning has addressed drainage issues and made conservation buffers an integral part of his operation.
2013 South Region Winner
Jeremy Jack addresses conservation on his Mississippi farm first through water management, which then helps determine careful management of soil and nutrients. He utilizes one-pass tillage, input management practices and current technologies. Jack’s farm is participating in a working-lands stewardship project.