Indiana’s lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands are valuable natural resources. Protecting these water resources is imperative and 47 farmers were honored on August 18 at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds for their efforts in favor of rivers.
“Honoring these farmers each year for their conservation efforts is a high priority for the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. We are delighted to be able to meet in person and thank us for helping us improve water quality and strengthen soil health across the state, ”said Bobby Hettmansperger, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. “We need everyone to engage like these farmers and make the protection of natural resources a priority so that they are there to benefit for future generations.”
Jay and Sue Hawley have been recognized as Clinton County River Friendly Farmer. Hawley Farm is a corn and soybean operation located in the Sugar Creek watershed. The farm is not plowed and provides year round cover, which reduces erosion, soil compaction and fertilizer inputs, making the soil healthier. Fall cover crops are planted on the soil to replace nutrients and protect the soil. Integrated pest and nutrient management plans allow Hawley to apply the right nutrients, at the right time and in the right place. These best management practices reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients and pesticides in the watershed.
Asked about his long-standing commitment to conservation, Jay replied, “Because we care about ourselves. It is God’s land and our own that we must take care of. Incidentally, Jay’s father, Charles Robert Hawley, was one of the first elected supervisors to serve on the Clinton County Soil and Water Conservation Districts Council when it was established by public referendum in 1967.
The annual River Friendly Farmer Award ceremony rewards farmers for their implementation of conservation practices, such as no-till and cover crops, which ultimately protect waterways and improve the quality of the crop. water in Indiana. These farmers were nominated by their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).
Sponsored by the Indiana Farm Bureau, the River Friendly Farmer Award program began in 2000 and has graced more than 1,000 Indiana farms.
This year, the Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts Association hosted the event and IASWCD Board Chair Bobby Hettmansperger opened the ceremony and remarks were held. were made by Randy Kron, president of the Indiana Agricultural Bureau; Jerry Raynor, Indiana State Curator, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS); and Trevor Laureys, director of soil conservation, Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Amie Simpson, Brownfield Ag News, hosted the ceremony.
For a full list of this year’s winners along with a short bio, visit: http://wordpress.iaswcd.org/river-friendly-farmer-award/.