Legacy land stewards, John and Barb Floyd, honor the conservation ethics passed on by John’s parents, while continuing the work to leave their land even better for the next generation through the Conservation Stewardship Program.
John Floyd of Fond du Lac County has always been a steward of the land. The conservation seed was planted in him long ago by observing his father, Joseph “Joe” Floyd, incorporate conservation practices on the family farm purchased in 1963. A drywaller and plasterer by trade, Joe Floyd, along his wife Lois (John’s mom), learned about farming as they went. The glacial moraine landscape did not make farming easy, but they planted with the contours of the land and practiced reduced tillage during a time when the plow was still very popular. John credits his mother for influencing and encouraging his father to farm in ways that were low impact in terms of erosion and washouts, which helped their land continue productivity for the next generation of Floyd farmers.
John and his wife, Barb, have been conservation-minded for many decades, applying the mindset from John’s parents to their own mushroom farm off “Mushroom Road” in Eastern Fond du Lac County. After receiving financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), they began incorporating herbaceous weed control to manage garlic mustard and honey suckle from invading their forestland and wildlife cover. They also planted 3.5 acres of pollinator conservation cover, then began planting hundreds of trees, such as oaks and maples, on the acreage John grew up on that was originally owned by his parents. To date, John and Barb have planted over 5,000 trees on their property. NRCS District Conservationist, Cory Drummond says, “John and Barb are conservationists through and through. They are so meticulous with the work they have done, and you can tell they take great pride not only in the work that they are currently doing, but maintaining the work John’s parents did before them.”
When asked why he has implemented conservation practices into the management of their land, John says “I’m continuing the legacy of conservation that was laid before me [that] I want my kids and grandkids to hopefully continue after I’m gone.” Barb added, “We really enjoy coming out and observing the wildlife that has been on our land. We’ve seen, eagles, owls, butterflies, turkeys, deer, pollinators such bumble bees and hummingbirds. It’s been amazing.” John and Barb have shown an appreciation for the NRCS, saying that “NRCS employees like Cory Drummond, Sawyer Schmidt, and Mike Patin, have been helpful in explaining [CSP] while providing sound planning assistance. We’d encourage people who are interested in conservation to give them a call.” The Floyds renewed their CSP acreage for another 5 years and hope to leave the land to future generations to enjoy as much as they have.