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Success Story - Jeff Rita Glazik Cow and Organic Grain Operation

Illinois Success Story

Grazing Makes Good $ense
Jeff & Rita Glazik: Cow and Organic Grain Operation

By: Paige Buck, NRCS State Public Affairs Specialist
Date: October 2010

Jeff and Rita Glazik

A Grain & Grass Operation
Jeff Glazik converted a 400-acre farm located near the start of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River in Ford County, Illinois. He runs certified organic cropland and the rest of his operation is in pasture, natural areas and other conservation practices, including a number of trees.

Conservation crop rotations are a key component of their system because it’s a concept and a practice he’s used successfully and seen benefits of first hand. Glazik and his family are just learning the options and opportunities their newest friends at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have offered through federal conservation programs. They are amazed at the ideas and help they have at their fingertips.

“NRCS has great people and some good and very helpful options that I’ve put to work on our farm,” says Glazik. He finalilzed his Grazing Management Plan and a Rotational Grazing System and just installed new fence. EQIP offers both technical support and financial support that will help make it all happen.

A Perfect Match
Glazik has stock cows and a few hogs, which he sells as meat to local consumers. Some of his most immediate concerns—which EQIP will address—is to remove livestock access to water courses (creek) on the farm. He also wants to reduce erosion and improve water quality. What he has learned to date is how a prescribed grazing system will offer even better use of his existing crop rotations. “This really is a perfect match for what my land needs, what my cows require, and for what I want to do here. I look forward to working with NRCS on the rest of my plan, which includes incorporating some durable watering systems and some additional fence,” Glazik adds.

Young calves in tall forage
Glazik looks forward to becoming involved in NRCS’ newest conservation program, the Conservation Stewardship Program, or CSP. Eventually, he hopes to take a few corridors of land out of permanent grazing and develop riparian corridors on retired pastureland.

With new fence for his paddocks up and lit, he’s turned his cows out to their new time-share buffet just a few weeks ago. “We’ve got alfalfa and timothy and clover that’s tall and lush. The cows headed out and started munching away. We almost couldn’t see the calves with the grass so high, but everyone was happy,” Jeff adds with a smile.

The Glazik operation is also home to a large tree planting effort, which includes many tree species well suited to the river bottom area and the wildlife found there.

Nick Fritch, Acting NRCS District Conservationist in Ford County, was instrumental in helping the Glazik operation find options and success.

“Jeff’s operation is one I’ve been proud to be a part of. We’ve used NRCS’ core program and products to do exactly what was needed here. Every one and every resource here will emerge a winner,” Fritch said.

Additional Information
If you need more information about grazing and programs, contact the NRCS District Conservationist at your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture), or contact your local soil and water conservation district. Information also is available on the web at: www.il.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.

Producer Profile Glazik  (PDF, 800 kb)