Cooperator Spotlight

Each year in March, the board of supervisors select landowners/operators who have shown excellent conservation on their farm or rented farms. These landowners/operators selected from each area are featured in the newsletter, presented with a plaque at our annual meeting and the practices are photographed and presented in a slideshow. 

Area I - Roger and Wendy Bardot

Wendy and Roger Bardot Our Area I Outstanding Farmer Award goes to Roger and Wendy Bardot. Roger and Wendy rent approximately 320 acres in the Lonedell area from Roger’s father.  About 65% of the acres are pasture and the remaining is woodland. Roger rents an additional 260 acres from neighboring farms.

Roger’s father inherited the farm and Roger has been renting it from his father for the last five years. Roger has been farming since he was a kid and had a partnership with other ground since 1989.

Roger and Wendy raise black angus/cross and red Angus along with chickens. As side a job Roger makes and sells broiler cages for chickens.

Roger and Wendy applied for Cost-Share Assistance through NRCS EQIP to help install fence, watering systems and pipeline for a grazing system and to exclude livestock from the woods and streams. They have also installed a pond to help control the erosion.

Roger and Wendy have three daughters; Emily, Rachel, and Laura, who help out on the farm.  They all went to college to receive degrees in the line of Agriculture and Animal Science.

Keep up the good conservation work and Congratulations to Roger and Wendy!

Cows at Bardot Farm

Chickens at the Bardot Farm

Area II - Marvin & Carolyn Ley

Marvin LeyOur Area II Outstanding Farmer Award goes to Marvin and Carolyn Ley.  The farm is estimated to be 115 acres and is located in the Washington area.

This farm has woodland, cropland and pastureland.  Roughly, 70% of the farm is cropland, where a corn/soybean/wheat rotation is used.  The farm is home to mix breed cow/calf pair operations.  Crops and cattle have been present for most of the life of the farm.

For about 50 years Marvin help the previous owner of the farm with crops and livestock.  The farm was once a dairy farm.  In 1990 Marvin purchased the farm from that owner.

Marvin has installed terraces, waterway, concrete drop boxes, and WASCOBS to protect their farm from soil erosion under State Cost-Share.  Marvin also participated in the Emergency Drought Program in 2012 and was able to receive Cost-Share to help install a well and watering tank to get water to his cattle.

Marvin has two sons, one daughter and seven grandchildren. The ones of age help out on the farm.

Keep up the great conservation work and Congratulations to Marvin and Carolyn!

Cows at Ley Farm

Cows at the Ley Farm

Area III - Wilson Farm

Kenneth WilsonOur Area III Outstanding Farmer Award goes to Wilson Farm owned by Kenneth & Dianna Wilson.  The farm has been in the family since the 50’s and in 1986, Kenneth bought the farm from his family located in Sullivan. 

The farm consists of 280 acres, dominated by forest.  Kenneth has roughly 70 acres of crop land that he rents out and a corn/soybean rotation is produced.  There are roughly 60 acres of pasture that is cut for hay and grazed by a cow/calf operation.

Kenneth applied for State Cost-Share to help control erosion by installing a waterway and turning a crop field back into pasture.  Kenneth also installed ponds and terraces on his own.   

Kenneth has two children and four grandchildren; they’re not really involved, but do like to come out and play.

Congratulations to Wilson Farm and keep up the good work to improve your natural resources!

Wilson Farm

Wilson Farm

Area IV - Pin Oak Farm

Michelle and Duane Brune at Pin Oak FarmOur Area IV Outstanding Farmer Award goes to Pin Oak Farm owned by Duane and Michelle Brune of New Haven. 

In 1989, after graduating high school Duane purchased his grandfather’s property by using his college savings as a down payment. In 1991 Duane acquired his great uncle’s property after he had passed away. Duane and Michelle own roughly 140 acres and raise livestock and crops.

From the time of purchasing the farm they have raised cattle and grew row crops (corn, soybeans, milo , wheat, and alfalfa).    In 1999 he started growing produce (tomatoes, cabbage, summer & winter squash, cucumber, sweet corn, peppers, eggplant) and began having a pumpkin patch. In 2003 they started to sell their produce to Schnuks and Dierbergs.

Duane and Michelle applied for State Cost-Share and USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program to help control erosion by installing terraces, ponds, waterway, and cover crops.  During the Drought of 2012 Duane received assistance to put in an irrigation well to help his produce. 

Duane and Michelle have two children that are involved with the farm.  Their 13 year old daughter helps pick produce and pack the shed, while their 7 year old son helps put the boxes together.

Congratulations to Pin Oak Farm and keep protecting our natural resources!

Pin Oak Farm

Pin Oak Farm

We would like to thank everyone for their efforts in protecting our natural resources. If you know of someone who practices good conservation, please call the office to nominate them for the Outstanding Farmer award.