Farmers are among our greatest conservation allies. They produce the crops that help to feed, fuel and clothe a growing world, while caring for the lands and waters on which their livelihoods depend. As the global population continues to grow, farmers will be under increasing pressure to produce even more crops without sacrificing the environment.
The solution is right under our feet – the soil.
By adopting conservation practices, farmers can build rich, fertile soils that will grow robust crops while protecting water sources, storing carbon, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating fields that are more resilient to extreme weather events. It’s a win-win for farmers and nature.
Sarah Delbecq, a sixth-generation farmer in Indiana, and her husband Benoit are among a growing movement of farmers who are adopting conservation practices like cover crops, which keeps living roots in the soil year-round.
“Our family has been here since 1864, and we want to be as good stewards as we possibly can be of what’s been entrusted to us,” Sarah says. “We want to leave the land in better shape than how we found it.”
The Roemkes, another Indiana farming family, began experimenting with cover crops after a seed salesman showed them the benefits. “You feel a responsibility to preserve this kind of lifestyle, this productivity, this soil health for this generation and generations to come,” Brian Roemke says.