FROM THE BEGINNING
Rick Juchems (right) has been participating in the Iowa Learning Farms soil and water conservation educational programs and on-farm studies since ILF began 15 years ago. “Since those early days, I’ve participated in multiple ways and continued to learn and share my knowledge,” he says.
Juchems is pictured here in one of the no-till fields on his family farm near Plainfield in northeast Iowa. His daughter Liz is employed by Iowa Learning Farms as a conservation educator. She learned a lot about taking care of the land and natural resources while growing up on the farm.
NO-TILL AND SOIL HEALTH
Shown here at a soil health field day with Iowa State University Extension ag engineer Mark Hanna (right), Juchems has a long history of using no-till and cover crop practices. ILF works to take the information gathered from research and small-plot studies and put it into practice in whole-field operations on farms.
Juchems (right) joined a rye cover crop study in 2008 and has stayed with it, planting his entire acreage to cover crops after corn and soybeans are harvested in the fall. “Conservation has always been important to me, but working with ILF on cover crops and other practices has convinced me we can build soil health, prevent erosion and preserve water quality,” he says.
Juchems (center, holding Iowa Farm sign) and his family were presented the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award several years ago at the Iowa State Fair. “I’m glad Iowa Learning Farms got started when it did 15 years ago,” he says. “ILF has taken the bull by the horns to help get people involved and has helped increase their knowledge about soil and water conservation.”