“I chose to be a farmer because I love to be outside and in nature even if it means, in my father’s words, that ‘You have to take some of your salary in fresh air and sunshine.’ Watching the land spring back to health after having been plowed and eroded over the years makes it all worth it.” Bob Wade, Jr.
As one of The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky’s newest members to come on its Board of Trustees in 2012, Bob Wade looks forward to learning about environmental concerns expressed by members and the general public. He also had another goal – to educate people about misperceptions related to agriculture and share some exciting practices taking place on some modern farms.
“We’re doing a lot to benefit the environment,” says Wade, who owns a 3,500-acre corn and soybean farm south of Elizabethtown.
Wade practices no-till farming, which is a method of farming that preserves topsoil in order to prevent erosion into local creeks. He also grows cover crops such as cereal rye during the winter to hold soil in place when it’s not in production. When erosion does occur, filter strips planted around streams prevent anything applied to field crops from reaching local waterways.
“Cover crops have revealed some unexpected benefits over the years,” adds Wade. “We don’t experience as much weed pressure in areas where cover crops have been planted. As a result, less herbicide is required when it comes time to plant crops in the spring. Cover crops also improve soil biology – adding organic matter to the soil.”
Bob Wade comes by his passion for conserving nature honestly, following in the footsteps of his father, who also served on The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees. Wade has also been an active member of the Hardin County Conservation District for more than 20 years.
“My father definitely instilled in me a passion for conservation and a duty for caring for the land which feeds us,” says Wade. “In addition to simply leading by example, my role on The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees allows me to communicate this work to a broader audience while also learning new ideas about how I can farm my own land more sustainably.”