Farm Progress

American Soybean Association honors David and Linda Burrier

Here’s why this Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer couple received the Conservation Legacy Award for the Northeast.

John Vogel

March 14, 2018

2 Min Read
PURPOSEFULLY PICTURESQUE: “We try to keep our farm looking picturesque, and our landlords expect us to care for their land in the same way,” Linda Burrier says.

David and Linda Burrier of Union Bridge, Md., were recently recognized by the American Soybean Association during the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif. They were the Northeast region winners of ASA’s Conservation Legacy Award. Iowa farmer Mark Schleisman of Lake City was tabbed as the national winner.

The award recognizes outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of soybean producers. The couple received the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer Award in 2016 for their leadership efforts and for building a grain and hay business in a sustainable agriculture model.

The Burriers’ Linganore Farm is in the original epicenter of environmental water quality — the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Their farm is within 50 miles of the bay, situated in a valley backdropped by the Appalachian Mountains.

“We feel we are in a fishbowl,” Linda says. “We’re always very conscious of what people can see. We try to keep our farm looking picturesque, and our landlords expect us to care for their land in the same way.”

Environmentally accountable
Regulators have pointed to agriculture as the largest source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, and in 2010, established Total Maximum Daily Load regulations as a way to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay and all the rivers and streams that feed into it. The Bay TMDL, set by EPA under the Clean Water Act, set targets for reduced nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution.

One way the Burriers demonstrate their conservation commitment is through the use of strip cropping. Crops are grown in long narrow strips, and the farm’s 1,800 acres support a diverse mix of crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, hay and grass hay. “All our fields have a certain amount of slope,” David says. “Alternating crops in these strips allows us to control soil erosion, control sediment loss and retain nutrients.”

In non-crop areas, the Burriers installed and maintain grass waterways and buffers to reduce runoff. The TDML regulation has required them to have a nutrient management plan, which has greatly increased their recordkeeping. Operating under TMDL regulations, the Burriers look for ways to efficiently provide crop nutrients to maximize production while minimizing potential nutrient losses.

Learn about the innovative farming practices of all three regional winners in their Conservation Legacy Award videos.

The Conservation Legacy Award program is sponsored by ASA, BASF, Monsanto, Corn & Soybean Digest, the United Soybean Board/Soybean Checkoff, and Valent.

About the Author(s)

John Vogel

Editor, American Agriculturist

For more than 38 years, John Vogel has been a Farm Progress editor writing for farmers from the Dakota prairies to the Eastern shores. Since 1985, he's been the editor of American Agriculturist – successor of three other Northeast magazines.

Raised on a grain and beef farm, he double-majored in Animal Science and Ag Journalism at Iowa State. His passion for helping farmers and farm management skills led to his family farm's first 209-bushel corn yield average in 1989.

John's personal and professional missions are an integral part of American Agriculturist's mission: To anticipate and explore tomorrow's farming needs and encourage positive change to keep family, profit and pride in farming.

John co-founded Pennsylvania Farm Link, a non-profit dedicated to helping young farmers start farming. It was responsible for creating three innovative state-supported low-interest loan programs and two "Farms for the Future" conferences.

His publications have received countless awards, including the 2000 Folio "Gold Award" for editorial excellence, the 2001 and 2008 National Association of Ag Journalists' Mackiewicz Award, several American Agricultural Editors' "Oscars" plus many ag media awards from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Vogel is a three-time winner of the Northeast Farm Communicators' Farm Communicator of the Year award. He's a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumni and an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, and board member of Christian Farmers Outreach.

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