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Honoring 2019 CLA winnersHonoring 2019 CLA winners

Four family farms will be honored for their conservation achievements at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla.

February 26, 2019

3 Min Read

There’s a key word in this award program — legacy. The 2019 honorees for the Conservation Legacy Award have a demonstrated his­tory of working on ways to boost soil health, preserve water quality and rethink the way they farm. This year the program has grown to include four growers, shining a spot­light on the idea that conser­vation practices aren’t limited by geography.

We congratulate four out­standing soybean producers, each a region winner of the American Soybean Association 2019 Conservation Legacy Awards:

Upper Midwest

Dan Gillespie


Rob Stout


Rick Clark


Fred Sipes

This prestigious award program is made possible due to the conservation commit­ment and sponsorship support from the American Soybean Association, United Soybean Board, BASF, Bayer, Valent, Corn+Soybean Digest and Farm Futures.

“U.S. soybean farmers care deeply about the land and have a long history of working hard to grow crops in a sus­tainable manner, with a focus on continuous improvement in their management prac­tices. Farmers want to protect their legacy and preserve the environment for future gen­erations,” says ASA President Davie Stephens, a farmer from Clinton, Ky. “The Conservation Legacy Award winners serve as shining examples of the dedication farmers show every day to make this happen.”

Woody Green, South Carolina farmer and Sustainability lead for the United Soybean Board, says American farmers have focused on conservation for decades, always looking for ways to improve practices that ensure continued suc­cess. “USB is proud to support this award and recognize U.S. soybean farmers leading the charge for long-term sustain­ability and conservation.”

“There is no one who puts more emphasis on conserving the land for future generations than a farmer, and we relish the opportunity to celebrate these winners alongside ASA.” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, BASF Agricultural Solutions North America. “On behalf of BASF, I pledge our ongoing support to farm­ers who go above and beyond in their environmental and conservation practices, as we work together to preserve the land that feeds our world.”

Andy Knepp, Environmental Strategy and Advocacy Lead for Bayer, says we need to produce more safe, affordable and nutritious food going forward, and do so in a manner that sus­tains our planet. “Addressing important issues like climate change, water quality, soil health and biodiversity all need to be part of the solution as we work to feed a growing popula­tion and continuously improve the environment.”

Jeffrey Smith, Industry Affairs Manager at Valent U.S.A., indicates that his com­pany proudly recognizes those growers who are committed to protecting and improving their local environments to ensure the sustainability of their operations for genera­tions to come. “At Valent, we want to recognize those grow­ers who make the extra effort, often at their own expense, to ensure their operations have minimal impact to their sur­rounding areas.”

Farm Futures and Corn+Soybean Digest are proud to recognize these four innovators who embrace a conservation-first attitude. Adds Willie Vogt, Editorial Director, Farm Progress, which produces both brands: “Agriculture challenges farmers in many ways, but these grow­ers have stepped up and made preserving, and building, their land a priority. Their approach is also a model for others to follow as this industry looks for ways to produce more while also preserving an important legacy — the land.”

To read more of the Conservation Legacy Winner stories, check them out here: Soil success (Dan Gillespie); Caring for the karst (Fred Sipes); A touch of prairie (Rob Stout); and Doing it better-- and bigger (Rick Clark)

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