The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) held their annual Conservation Awards Banquet Wednesday night as part of the organization’s 70th Annual Conference of Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The theme for the conference is The Power of Conservation: Today’s Action’s,Tomorrow’s Rewards. Among the six major awards presented, Larry Huffmeyer, Ripley County SWCD, was named the 2012 Conservation Farmer of the Year. The award honors a Hoosier farmer who actively incorporates and practices conservation on the land. This year, the Conservation Farmer of the Year receives a plaque and a full paid registration to either the 2014 Annual Conference of Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts or the 2014 National No-Till Conference, courtesy of Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc, the award sponsor.
The Osgood resident and Purdue graduate is the third generation to farm the land. He and his wife, Charlene, purchased their first no-till planter in 1974. To this day they plant most of the 1300 acres of row crops using the no-till system. Huffmeyer also includes waterways, filter strips, cover crops, and wildlife habitat into his farming practices. He and his son, Bill, work hard to keep their ground erosion free. They have placed many acres of the farm under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). They installed waterways and filter strips on the land, and also have 13.6 acres of CP33 which is the Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds. He is just as conservation minded on their rented ground, placing 150 acres under Continuous CRP and general CRP programs.
He also has participated in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The Huffmeyer’s utilize cover crops on their row crop fields. In 2009, Larry and Bill incorporated turnips and radishes into their cover crop mix. Today almost 775 acres are put into cover crops annually. Because of his consistently high regard for conservation measures over the course of his agricultural career spanning at least 25 years, Larry Huffmeyer was also honored with the Career Conservation designation.