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Joe Breker talks about cover crops Lon Tonneson
TALKING CONSERVATION: Joe Breker, one of the finalists for the 2019 Leopold Conservation Award in North Dakota, talks about cover crops at a field day on his farm.

3 North Dakota families in running for conservation award

The Breker, Goven and Fischer families are finalists for the 2019 North Dakota Leopold Conservation Award.

Finalists for the 2019 North Dakota Leopold Conservation Award have been announced.

Joe and Patty Breker, Havana; Gene and Christine Goven, Turtle Lake; and HJ (Chip) and Ann Fischer, Rhame, have been named as finalists for the $10,000 award, which recognizes private landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife resources.

The Brekers raise corn, soybeans and other grain crops. They were early adopters of no-till and cover cropping. With other members of their family, the Brekers also operate Coteau des Prairies lodge, where they offer ecotourism learning experiences.

The Fischers operate a cattle ranch. They have improved soil health and water infiltration by seeding cropland to grass. They also make the ranch more productive by developing additional water sources and creating a rotational grazing system. They have planted more than 40 acres of trees to reduce erosion and provide shelter for their cattle and habitat for wildlife.

Gene and Christine Goven were early adopters of regenerative farming and ranching practices. Over 50 years, their use of no-till, diverse crop rotations, cover crops and livestock grazing has improved the health of their soils, wetlands and pastures. They currently rent out their cropland and help neighbors plant cover crops.

The winner of the Leopold Conservation Award will be officially announced Nov. 25 at the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts’ annual convention in Bismarck.

The Leopold Award is named after Aldo Leopold, who is considered by many to be the father of wildlife ecology. Among his best-known ideas is the “land ethic,” which calls for an ethical caring relationship between people and nature.

The Sand County Foundation currently presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 different states, including South Dakota and North Dakota.

In North Dakota, the award is made possible by the North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition, North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, Starion Bank, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, APEX Clean Energy, Audubon Dakota, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Cow Chip Ranch, Dakota Community Bank and Trust, Delta Waterfowl Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, KEM Electric Cooperative, McDonald’s, Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative, The Nature Conservancy in North Dakota, North Dakota Department of Health, North Dakota Natural Resources Trust, Roughrider Electric Cooperative, Slope Electric Cooperative, The Wildlife Society North Dakota, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

For more information on the award, visit leopoldconservationaward.org.

Source: North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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