Eastern Iowa Farmer Named Conservation Farmer of the Year[PHOTOS]
What Dave Lubben thought was going to be just a county award ended up much bigger when he received a call from the Iowa Farm Bureau.
I wasn't expecting that. And I thought I was signing up for maybe a county award. And six months later, Iowa Farm Bureau calls me up and says ‘Dave you won!’ I said ‘what did I win?’ Well, ‘you won the Conservationist Farmer of the Year.’
Dave has a 1,000-acre farm in Monticello Iowa where he runs a livestock and grain operation. There he raises beef cattle and grows corm soybeans, hay, and pasture.
On Thursday, Dave gave a group including Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig a tour around his farm so they could see first-hand the work he’s done over the years.
So how did Dave Lubben get to be Iowa’s Conservation Farmer of the Year? Well, he says his passion for conservation was an accident.
My philosophy is all of us want to leave the place better than when we started. So, any concentration we do is a practice that we do enhances that underlying value. Mother Nature is a great teacher-if we're willing to pay attention.
His farm has a combination of all different soils so he had to come up with the best ways he can use the land. Which is why he has cows he says.
He has also decided to transform part of his farm by planting around 8,000 trees.
I wanted to leave a little legacy for my grandkids. I had an area that wasn't very productive, so, I thought, well, let's plant some trees. And so, we planted mostly hardwood trees, some Black Walnut, some Black Cherry, and about three different kinds of oak trees and some Sycamores.
For anyone that is wanting to implement their own conservation practices, Lubben says
You have to go through the learning curve. You try small projects and go through them. Another one is having moral support for what you're doing.
Let's take a look at what his operation has to offer: