INDIANAPOLIS — In a ceremony on Aug. 16, to coincide with Farmers’ Day at the 2017 Indiana State Fair, 49 Indiana Farmers from 44 counties throughout the state received the River-Friendly Farmer award. These exceptional farmers join the over 900 farmers who have been recognized since 1999 by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) for their commitment to protect Indiana’s natural resources, in particular Indiana’s waterways.
The Carl Moorman family received the 2017 River Friendly Farmer Award in Decatur County. The Moorman family produces corn and soybeans within the Sand Creek Watershed. Erosion problems were a major concern on their farm; and now, due to their conservation practices, they virtually have no erosion issues. Soil health on their land has also improved dramatically. They practice 100% no-till, plant cover crops and have implemented waterways. This farmland has experienced a reduction in sediment run-off and improved water quality and Carl was justifiably named the 2013 Decatur County Conservation Farmer of the Year.
Carl Moorman is retired, but still owns the family farm. His sons, Joe and Gene Moorman, work the farm now and maintain the conservation practices their father put into place 15 years ago. Joe Moorman said water and soil conservation are not new to the family, adding that they were pleased to be named River Friendly Farmers.
“It’s just a big thing to us becuase we like to try to preserve the land and the water quality thoughout the area by doing our part on the farming side,” Joe Moorman said.
“As a district,” said Natural Resource Specialist Scott Sanders, “the Moormans have done a lot of great things out there. They’re doing no till and cover crops. All that kind of stuff prevents erosion and bad stuff getting into the water supply. They have a lot of good practices that they do.”
Indiana Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch, along with Indiana Farm Bureau President, Randy Kron, presented the awards to each recipient. Lt. Gov. Crouch spoke to the farmers and their families on Wednesday regarding their efforts, stating, “Your goals to improve soil quality and water quality and to restore and sustain human and wildlife habitat in Indiana’s watersheds is truly outstanding.”
Meghan Grebner from Brownfield Ag News emceed the event in the 4-H Exhibit Hall Auditorium on the state fairgrounds. Jane Hardisty, Indiana State Conservationist and the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ President, Jamie Scott, were also present and honored the farmers for their care of the soil, streams, rivers, and lakes.
The River Friendly Farmers were nominated for this award by their local Soil and Water Conservation District based upon their management practices, which help keep rivers, lakes and streams clean in Indiana and beyond. This annual award is sponsored by the IASWCD, the 92 local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. A full list of this year’s winners including short bios and individual photos can be viewed on the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts website (http://iaswcd.org/river-friendly-farmer-award/).
“From a district point of view, we nominate them based on who we feel is doing the best management practices to protect the land and the water here in Decatur County,” Sanders said.
Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch, joined the 49 recipients who were able to attend the ceremony at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, for the 2017 River Friendly Farmer awards. NRCS State Conservationist Jane Hardisty and Indiana Farm Bureau President, Randy Kron, were also on hand to congratulate farmers for their outstanding conservation practices.
The River Friendly Farmer Award is sponsored by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
History of the River-Friendly Farmer Award
Since 1999, key conservation and agricultural organizations have sponsored the River Friendly Farmer (RFF) Program. The statewide initiative recognizes farmers, who through good production management practices help keep Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams clean.
Annually, each county Soil and Water Conservation District may nominate up to two farmers who do an outstanding job of protecting their rivers, lakes, and streams through their everyday conservation management practices on the farm. Watershed organizations also may nominate farmers for the award by submitting an application to a county SWCD.