Wallaces Farmer

Iowa Farmer Wins National Conservation Award

Jim Andrew honored for soil and water stewardship.

March 15, 2007

3 Min Read

James O. (Jim) Andrew of Jefferson, Iowa, was selected as winner of the 2007 National Conservation Legacy Award during the recent Commodity Classic in Tampa, Fla. He was named the Midwest regional winner in January.

Andrew operates Andrew Farms, Inc., a corn and soybean farm near Jefferson, Iowa. He is also a director for the Iowa Soybean Association. "I am extremely honored to be selected the national winner," he says. "But I certainly didn't do this single-handedly. My father set quite a pace to keep up with after he retired, and we've had a lot of fun working together on our conservation practices."

Conservation has always been a top priority in this multi-generational family farm. Jim and his father installed tile drainage and constructed terraces to prevent erosion. A dike protects a prominent creek from sediment from their farm fields, and ponds and tree plantings help catch and control sediment and runoff water.

Totally no-till corn, beans for 10 years

In 1993, they sold their tillage equipment and switched to a total no-till operation. Their conservation program includes protected grass strips to help control erosion and provide wildlife habitat. Grassed field borders provide additional erosion protection and give them a place to park trucks and equipment during field operations and harvest.

"While implementing our conservation plans over the last 40 years, my father and I took great personal satisfaction in what we were doing to preserve our soil, water and wildlife," says Andrew.

In 2005, Andrew Farms, Inc., was awarded a Tier III Conservation Security Program contract from the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the first Iowa farm to qualify for CSP at this level.

Earns top tier in USDA's CSP program

"I don't do this to win awards, but it certainly is nice to be acknowledged," Andrew says. "I hope this will add to my credibility when working on conservation legislation in both Des Moines and Washington. I want to assist other farmers who want to practice conservation on their own farms."

The Conservation Legacy Awards recognize the outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of U.S. soybean farmers who understand the responsibility of protecting the land, one of our most precious natural resources, and are dedicated to enhancing the quality of the land entrusted to them. This award honors those who rise to this calling and distinguish themselves by taking care of the environment while still reaping economic returns from their farms.

Each of the four regional winners and their spouse or a guest received an expense-paid trip to Commodity Classic, held in early March in Florida. They were also recognized at the ASA Awards Banquet at the Classic. Andrew received a plaque and yard sign in recognition of this honor. This awards program is sponsored by the American Soybean Association and by Monsanto.

Other Iowa farmers recognized

Three other Iowa farmers were named winners at the Commodity Classic. Scott Chesnutt of Boone, David Oberbroeckling of Davenport, and Curtis Clayes of Delmar were among the 15 national winners of the American Soybean Association's "Reach for the Stars" contest in partnership with John Deere Ag Management Solutions.

Each contest winner will have the opportunity to use a premium-level precision ag system on his farm for the entire 2007-growing season. Each system has a suggested retail price of more than $20,000.

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