Indiana Association of  
Soil and Water Conservation Districts

News from the IASWCD

For release: Tuesday, January 7, 2014
 
State Conservation Farmer of the Year from Tippecanoe County
Roger Verhey also receives career conservation designation

Indianapolis -- Tippecanoe County farmer Roger Verhey was named the 2013 Conservation Farmer of the Year tonight as part of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts' (IASWCD) annual Conservation Awards Banquet. The award honors a Hoosier farmer who actively incorporates and practices conservation on the land.    

 

The Verhey family
Because of his consistently high regard for conservation measures over the course of his agricultural career spanning at least 25 years, Verhey was also honored tonight with the Career Conservation designation.

 

Despite the snow, a group of hearty individuals are gathered in Indianapolis for the Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs for The Power of Conservation: What's in Your Toolbox, the 71st meeting of conservation-minded individuals.

 

This year, the Conservation Farmer of the Year receives a plaque and a full paid registration to either the 2015 Annual Conference of Soil and Water Conservation Districts or the 2015 National No-Till Conference, courtesy of  Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc., the award sponsor.

 

The Romney, Ind. farmer has been passionate about agriculture since childhood. Verhey convinced his father to begin no-tilling soybeans in 1989, and after seeing improvements in soil health where water held capacity and reduced weed pressure, they began no-tilling corn in 1991. Although there were challenges, he noticed increased earthworms and yield improvements. Verhey also noticed less erosion, even on fields categorized as highly-erodible land. He's been no-tilling ever since.   

 

Filter strips on the Verhey farm.
The Conservation Farmer of the Year also installed grassed waterways, field buffers, and filter strips in the late 1990s. In 1998, he began to do grid sampling. He realized that he had better yields and saved money because he applied fertilizer with more accuracy. Two years later, Verhey expanded the sampling to include all of his farms. Other measures taken include using GPS, variable rate seeding, and variable fertilizer application. 

 

Verhey began using cover crops in 2007, and has planted annual rye, cereal rye, radish, triticale and wheat. In addition to cropland, he also provides wildlife habitat on 400 acres of woods, 50 acres of warm-season grasses, and a one-acre pond. He also has 26 head of cattle, which he rotationally grazes.  

 

The three-day Annual Conference of Indiana SWCDs concludes tomorrow at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown (350 W. Maryland, Indianapolis, 46225) with the IASWCD's Legislative Breakfast and Annual Business Meeting. The complete conference agenda is available in the conference brochure

 

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For more information contact:

DeeDee Sigler, Communications Manager
317-692-7374, ext. 303 


IASWCD Officers

 

President: Jeff Meinders

                                   

Vice President: 
Paul Cummings

 

Secretary: Jamie Scott 

 

Treasurer:
Bobby Hettmansperger

 

Directors:           

 

North-NW: Jim Martin

 

South-NW: Mike Starkey

 

North-NE: Tom Crowe 

 

South-NE: Troy Hattery

 

North-SW: Les Zimmerman

 

South-SW: Jim Droege 

 

North-SE: Mike Schwab

 

South-SE: Brad Ponsler

 

Staff:

 

Executive Director:

Jennifer Boyle Warner

 

Project Assistant: Liz Rice

  

Soil Health Program Manager: Lisa Holscher

 

Communications Manager: DeeDee Sigler

225 S. East St., Suite 740, Indpls, IN  46202 / 317.692.7325 / info@iaswcd.org
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