Cooperator Spotlight

Farmer of the Year 2016

Donald FirebaughThis year’s Iron County Conservation Farmer of the Year’s family farm was bought by his father in 1946.  In 1948, he was born on the farm, in a little white house, which still stands. He grew up farming with his grandpa and father.

After getting married in 1972, he and his wife purchased their first farm from his grandfather in 1976, which was approximately two miles down the road from his dad’s farm.

They farmed together with this land owner’s father until 1989, when they purchased his dad’s farm and took over the day to day operations.

In 2008, partnering with their son, they acquired the farm up the road that joined theirs.  Together with his wife, son, and his son's family, our Farmer of the Year runs about 60 head of Black Angus Cattle and owns 700 acres of land. They raise heifers to add back to the herd, and they cut their own hay.

Over the years, he has built ponds to help reduce soil erosion and to supply water to his livestock. He has taken advantage of some of the programs offered by the Iron County Soil and Water Conservation District; including construction of a pond, seeding programs and critical area treatments to stop ditch erosion.

He was also a committee member on the Crane Pond Creek Earth Project for the extent of the project.

This year’s Iron County Conservation Farmer of the Year, Donald Firebaugh.

Lady Land Owner 2016

April JonesApril Jones was chosen as Lady Landowner of the Year for 2016 at the Missouri State Women In Ag Conference, held August 29-31 in Springfield.  She owns and operates 841 acres, has a 75 cow/calf operation and has done various conservation practices through the soil & water district and through NRCS.  

April was nominated by the Iron County Soil & Water Conservation District and was selected from nominations from all across the state.  Congratulations April!