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The AGgregator

Every Day is Earth Day for Farmers and Ranchers

Happy Earth Day! Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. To America’s farmers and ranchers who vigilantly protect our natural resources, though, every day is Earth Day. It’s not easy. With fewer producers working less land while feeding a growing population, finding economically and operationally viable solutions to long-term sustainability is a challenge. Nonetheless, many Farm Credit customers are doing just that:

  • Shepherd's Grain wheat growers are certified by the Food Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes and certifies sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Greenleaf Nursery has earned environmental awards from the EPA, Sierra Club and Southern Nursery Associations for its water recycling program and processes for comprehensive eco-friendly fertilization and insect control management.
  • Wineries are embracing sustainability, too. Sangiacomo Vineyardsis reducing the amount of resources used to grow high-quality grapes, saving electricity and reducing application of soil nutrients. Kunde Family Vineyards, a Certified Sustainable operation, is working to keep the family operation strong for the next generations.
  • Nieman Enterprises is a voluntary participant in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, harvesting trees for timber in a way that reduces the risk of fire and insect damage while making room for newer, healthier growth.
  • Innovative farmer Mickey Diamond is working with his extension service to test how much crop residue to leave on the field—an approach that conserves water while reducing weeds and herbicide requirements.
  • Dedicated to caring for his land, poultry and cattle farmer Wayne Lovett has worked with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to put in place a number of conservation measures. Kelli and Brian Eglinger, also poultry and cattle farmers, work with two NRCS programs to protect their land and soil, despite the requirement of additional time and money.
  • A growing number of farmers are using no-till practices to reduce soil erosion. Recognizing the environmental and operational benefits, the Halfmann family introduced no-till into their operation nine years ago to reduce wind and soil erosion and to optimize efficiency. Siblings Annie and Mike Dee manage their family cattle and grain operation with extensive use of no-till farming, cover crops, rotational grazing and other practices that improve soil and water quality. Dick Tunnell also employs no-till practices, as well as water control structures to improve water and land quality, and GPS technology on the farm to reduce excess fuel usage.

Few occupations are as invested in conserving and preserving our planet as the farmers who work on the land. This Earth Day, remember to #ThankAFarmer for feeding more people and being a good steward of the environment.