Green Lake County farmers Jim and Val Hebbe have been chosen to receive the Leopold Conservation Award from Sand County Foundation and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.
The award announcement was made during the Nov. 14 meeting of the state Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board. The Hebbe family, from Princeton, will receive the $10,000 award and a Leopold crystal on Dec. 2 at the WFBF Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells.
"Jim and Val Hebbe's commitment to no-till and other conservation efforts that benefit soil and water is exemplary" said Dr. Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. "Their on-the-farm practices and off-the-farm leadership make them shining examples of Wisconsin's agricultural community."
Jim Hebbe has been implementing conservation practices for 25 years and has shared his ideas with other farmers as the Green Lake County Conservationist since 1984.
He and his wife, Valerie, raise 1,100 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa in central Wisconsin. In addition to no-till planting all of the crops, he has worked to develop numerous conservation systems that complement each other and lead to less erosion and more residue cover on the land.
The farm includes land with a significant slope draining into a Class 1 Trout Stream. A water and sediment basin was constructed to help control and reduce field runoff into the stream. Native prairie grasses were planted in a field that borders the creek. Twenty-five acres of evergreen trees were planted on a farm with light and sandy soil.
In 1985, he helped develop conservation standards for the Farmland Preservation Program participants to control soil erosion to sustainable levels.