Oetting Homestead Farms wins conservation award

The Missouri Léopold Conservation Award 2021 went to Oetting Homestead Farms in Lafayette County for their commitment to habitat management.

The annual award is presented by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, the American Farmland Trust, the Missouri Farmers Care Foundation, the Sand County Foundation, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It was awarded to the Oettings on Thursday at the Missouri governor’s conference on agriculture in Osage Beach.

“The Oetting family has demonstrated the long-term commitment needed to consistently build and protect their land, enabling this fifth and sixth generation farming family to continue to make a living growing food for America,” said Scott Edwards, State Curator of the NRCS. “Being intentional in implementing conservation and investment practices in the future makes this farm a great example of the many good things that happen in Missouri agriculture. “

Steve and Sharon Oetting raise over 3,000 pigs a year and grow wheat, corn and soybeans. Their efforts to mitigate soil erosion, maintain water and air quality, and protect wildlife earned their farm one of the first certifications in the Department of Agriculture’s farm stewardship program.

The Oetting use all available land to cultivate no-till corn and soybeans to prevent soil erosion and use a three-lagoon system connected to a small lake, eliminating the need to purchase more land. one million gallons of fresh water per year. The system also allows them to water livestock and recycle lagoon resources to fertilize their crops.

“In agriculture our greatest resource is the land, and as farmers it is our duty to be good stewards of this land for future generations,” said Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council President Kyle Durham. “Sustainability is a top priority for the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, and it’s amazing to see the spotlight on the Oetting family’s management example. “

The Leopold Conservation Award program – named after famed environmentalist Aldo Leopold – is supported by a myriad of farm groups, including the Missouri Soybean Association, the Missouri Association of Electric Cooperatives, the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council.

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