Eight landowners committed to making a difference for farming and wildlife, expanding CRP program
Washington, DC -(AmmoLand.com)- Landowners throughout the Great Plains were honored today in the nation’s capital by Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the Legacy Award – accolades for their efforts to protect and conserve soil, water, and wildlife, as part of the Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP) 30th anniversary.
Meeting with policymakers while visiting D.C., each individual urged members of Congress to continue fighting for strong conservation programs.
“The landowners who have accompanied Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever to Capitol Hill represent a percentage of producers who have achieved equilibrium of conservation practices within a working landscape – they are feeding the world while protecting soil, water, and wildlife,” stated Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s vice president of government affairs. “Each individual is incredibly deserving of the Legacy Award, as are the legislators and committees who have worked tirelessly since 1985 to protect the nation’s environmental health through conservation programs and policies as part of the federal Farm Bill. The continuous CRP program, the general signup, and the multitude of easement programs have combined for the greatest privates lands conservation push our country has ever seen; now is the time to carry on this legacy.”
2015 Legacy Award Recipients:
Ed Olson – Craig, Nebraska – An established corn, soybean, and alfalfa producer in eastern Nebraska, Olson took over his family’s dairy farm after completing a degree in Agriculture from Northwest Missouri State. Selling his dairy operation in 2000 while switching solely to commodity crops and beef production, Olson began installing CRP as a part of his farming operation in 1999 which now includes grass filter strips, field borders, shelterbelts, irrigation pivot corners, CRP general signup acres and most recently, a pilot program in Nebraska titled “Road Corners for Safety and Wildlife.” Olson began working for an auctioneer in 1998, and then founded Olson-Pearson Auction & Realty in 2002 where he currently serves as the Real Estate Broker.
David Barnick – Jamestown, North Dakota – A dedicated agriculturalist since 1985, David Barnick has become a strong believer in the Conservation Reserve Program. Throughout LaMoure and Stutsman counties, Barnick produces corn and soybeans with methods that protect soil, benefit wildlife, and optimize his farming operation. Recognizing the significant value of CRP, Barnick has helped expand the initiative by encouraging his landlords to see the value of enrolling less productive lands into the program. The motto “farm the best, conserve the rest” is an expression that Barnick takes to heart. Barnick is also an active member of the Jamestown Knights of Columbus and often assists with community events in his spare time.
Todd Lewis – Forest City, Iowa – A fifth generation agriculturalist, Lewis heads a row crop and hog operation with his father in northern Iowa. After college, Lewis spent 16 years working for the US Forest Service as a wildland fire fighter before returning to the farm to raise his family. With the goal of leaving the land and wildlife in better shape for the sixth generation, Lewis has adopted several CRP practices along with modern equipment and technology that allow him to reduce erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat while optimizing crop production. When not farming, Lewis can be found hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with his family.
Hal Langham – Donnellson, Illinois – A fourth generation agriculturist, Langham partnered with his brothers to take over the family business in 1983. Functioning throughout Bond, Montgomery, and Fayette counties, the operation includes row crops, dairy, livestock, auctioneering, real estate, and guiding deer and turkey hunting. Langham views the Conservation Reserve Program as an integral part of the family operation, establishing field borders around several of their crop fields to benefit upland birds and other wildlife. This upcoming year, Langham and his brothers plan to enroll additional acres into the CRP Pollinator Program to further benefit the land and wildlife in their respective region.
Rodney Albert – Knowles, Oklahoma – A third generation farmer on the Albert Ranch, Rodney Albert follows in the footsteps of his grandfather who began his career in agriculture in 1929 in Booker, Texas, before moving to Knowles, Oklahoma, in 1942. After earning his MBA at Oklahoma City University, Albert worked in Washington D.C. for a number of years and various positions before returning home to the family ranching operation in 2001 to work full-time beside his father and uncle where CRP had already began enrollment in 1999. Since that time, the Albert Ranch has renewed and expanded conservation practices under Rodney’s operational plan, and the ranch currently utilizes managed and emergency haying and grazing options under CRP to provide additional forage for their cattle. The native grassland and other conservation efforts on the Albert Ranch are contributing to a reduction in erosion on the farm and the addition of critical wildlife habitat for quail, deer, and a host of other species. When not working on the ranch, Albert can be found volunteering in the community, or auctioneering at a local Quail Forever banquet.
Johannsen Farms – Tolstoy, South Dakota – Representing the fourth generation of the Johannsen Farm founded in 1926, Eric Johannsen, in partnership with his brother and parents, manages a family farm and cattle operation in north-central South Dakota. Both graduating with a degree in Agricultural Business from South Dakota State University, the Johannsen brothers and family manage a diverse grain crop rotation, produced using no-till farming practices and cover crops to build and maintain a healthy soil and conserve moisture. In addition to grain crops, the family also oversees 180 head of Angus cow/calf herd, utilizing rotational grazing within their native grass stands to produce both cattle and a pheasant hunting guide service. Over the last 25 years, Johannsen farms has implemented various CRP practices on their working farm, and are excited about the potential of the Working Lands Grassland CRP program, a new practice which will be incorporated into their long-term grazing plan. Eric Johannsen resides on the farm with his wife Tina, and his 8 year-old daughter, Kylie, who is currently being groomed as a fifth generation producer for Johannsen Farms.
Curt Anderson – Dassel, Minnesota – Curt Anderson of Dassel, Minnesota, has two great passions in life: farming and the great outdoors. He and his brother, Scot, operate Anderson Bros. Farms, a fourth-generation farm established by their great grandfather in 1923. The Anderson brothers share a common interest committed to farming and hunting, particularly pheasants, ducks, and geese. Over the past decade, Anderson and his brother have enrolled numerous portions of their property in CRP and have developed ideal pheasant habitat. This year, they’ve created 60-foot buffer strips along a county ditch, setting an example in responsible farming practices for community members to follow. Curt and his wife, Pennie, live on Lake Washington in in the city of Dassel. Their daughter, Chelsea, son-in-law, Brendan, and granddaughter, Eliza, annually hunt the family property and enjoy elaborate meals prepared from ingredients grown in their gardens.
Jeff Jauernig – Burlington, Kansas – Representing the third generation of Jauernig family farming and ranching, Jeff Jauernig works the land today that was established by his grandfather in 1932 shortly after World War I. Completing his degree in Agriculture from Kansas State University, Jauernig has had land enrolled in CRP since it was first made available in the 1980’s. Focusing on a corn and soybean row crop rotation along with a cow/calf ranching operation, Jauernig utilizes filter strips and CRP general enrollment as part of his farming and ranching career. In fact, the Jauernig farm has 57 acres of filter strips installed – the most of any landowner in the county. When not working on the farm or tending his cattle, he enjoys spending time hunting and fishing. Jauernig also spends time volunteering for youth at a local recreation center and within his local church.
About Pheasants Forever:
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $577 million on 489,000 habitat projects benefiting 12 million acres nationwide.