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Scherder Farms wins Leopold Conservation Award

Farmers use conservation practices to keep soil and nutrients out of creek.

Mindy Ward

February 14, 2019

2 Min Read
Sandy and John Scherder
CONSERVATION COUPLE: Sandy and John Scherder use cover crops to keep the soil and nutrients on the field and out of the creek. The couple won an award and $10,000 for their stewardship practices.

Farming in the hills and creek bottoms of Pike County, John and Sandy Scherder work to keep the soil and its nutrients from running off into nearby Peno Creek. The couple uses things such as cover crops, grass waterways, terraces and sediment basin structures to achieve their goal of being good stewards of land and water. For their efforts, Scherder Farms of Frankford, Mo., was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award.

The award honors Missouri farmers’ achievement in voluntary stewardship and natural resources management. This is the second year for the award in the state.

John says the award is an honor. “However, the soil conservation practices we have implemented on our farms were not done for money or recognition, but rather to conserve and improve the land we have been using for the past 40 years and to leave it better than we found it,” he says. “Our hope is that it can be sustainably used by future generations with the practices put in place by this generation.”

Scherder Farms was featured in Missouri Ruralist’s Focus on Soil Health column last year. Click on the link to read more about how they incorporate conservation and stewardship practices into their operation.

“John and Sandy are firmly committed to preserving and improving the land and water for future generations,” says Gary Marshall, Missouri Farmers Care chairman. The Scherders farm with their daughter, Holly, and son-in-law, Curtis, growing corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and beef cattle.

The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes voluntary conservation by private landowners. The Sand County Foundation created the award in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional farmers, ranchers and foresters. The award is given in 14 states.

Sand County Foundation, Missouri Farmers Care, the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service annually present the award. The Scherders received a $10,000 award and commemorative crystal statue at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture in January.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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