Home Indiana Agriculture News River Friendly Farmers Honored for Dedication to Conserving Indiana Natural Resources

River Friendly Farmers Honored for Dedication to Conserving Indiana Natural Resources

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Indiana’s River Friendly Farmer program has honored 47 new members who join more than 1,000 others recognized for their work to protect the state’s rivers, lakes and streams. Farmers are nominated by their local Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and past recipient Roger Wenning says that makes it a special award.

“Your peers nominate you for this award, so that’s one thing that really feels good and amazing, and then just to know somebody’s looking,” he explained. “We don’t do it for this recognition, but somebody noticing what you do. We like to be patted on the back once in awhile and that’s what this is. But, to see all these people, and I’ve read past and current winners, and I see what they do and how hard they work for conservation, and to clean our rivers up. That’s what this is.”

The program combines government agencies, agricultural organizations, Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts and their state association. Wenning is the president of that association, IASWCD. He told HAT conservation work on farms has evolved over the years.

“It started out years ago mainly no-till, but now it’s gone into cover crops, nutrient management, just the whole nine yards, the 4 R’s. These guys practice all of these great things to see to it that our rivers and the whole ecosystem is kept clean, taken care of, try to make it better for future generations.”

Wenning added, farmers don’t just care about the dollar, they care about the environment too. And those two can go hand in hand.

“Me and most of the people here have already figured out they run hand in hand. When we farm environmentally sound, it’s actually economically sound also. That’s the word we’re trying to get out, that it doesn’t cost you money to do these things. It makes you money.”

The 47 farmers were honored for their good production management practices at the Indiana State Fair Wednesday, August 14. Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch and Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron were on hand to make the presentations.

2019 River Friendly Farmer Award Recipients and their County:

Gary Ross, Adams

Michael R. Werling, Adams

Nathan Boone, Boone

Chad Glunt, Boone

Steve Stoelting, Clay

Matthew Kelley, Clinton

Kendall Cattle, Daviess

Dick Froehling & Dave Riedeman, Decatur

Bill Metz, Decatur

Mike and Bryan Lammers, Dubois

Alan Weyer, Dubois

Roger & Joe Hibschman, Elkhart

Eric Bryson, Fayette

Barbara Vining, Gibson

Harold Turner, Grant

Amy Jo Farmer, Hamilton

Bruce Beeker, Hancock

Gary Sparks, Hancock

Merlin Martin Hendricks

Justin Coleman, Hendricks

Roger Greeson, Howard

Ray Swingley, Jay

Ben Singleton, Knox

Sherm Bryant, Kosciusko

Jon and Scott Gochenaur; Scott Beecher, LaGrange

St. Alban’s Peace Garden, Marion

Jerry & Amy Eckrote, Miami

Tracy and Christina Hunter, Morgan

Terry and Marlene Maxwell, Morgan

Ross Mallatt, Newton

Mark Mallatt, Newton

Adam Dobson, Putnam

Justin Daube, St Joseph

Matt Oberlies, Scott

Chris Burroughs, Spencer

Lee Nagai, Starke

Larry Jernas, Starke

Dan and Shawna Andrew, Switzerland

Ken Briggs, Switzerland

Bryan Shelby, Tippecanoe

George Fehrenbacher, Vanderburgh

Denny Bell, Vigo

Runkel Farms, Wabash

Todd Armstrong, Washington

David Williamson, Wayne

Dale Thomas, Wells

Brent Emerick, Whitley