Direct Knowledge Inspires Conservation Improvements
Implementing the construction of conservation plan recommendations funded by NRCS cost-share programs for neighboring landowners gave jack-of-all-trade brothers, Eric and Chris Hammell, first-hand knowledge to pursue assistance for their own farm improvements.
Jack-of-all-trade brothers, Eric and Chris Hammell, started farming in Southwest Wisconsin in 2004. Since purchasing their parents’ farm in 2010, they have used their collective acreage to farm corn, soybeans, winter wheat, alfalfa, and a sizeable beef cow herd.
Along with farming, the brothers run a construction business that would often be contracted by the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for local conservation plan installations.
Implementing the construction of conservation plan recommendations funded by NRCS cost-share programs for neighboring landowners and producers, gave Eric and Chris inspiration and first-hand knowledge to pursue assistance for their own farm improvements and upgrades.
The Hammell brothers first received assistance from NRCS in 2010 through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with the planning and application of rotational grazing and fencing. In the following years, the brothers were approved for assistance through EQIP for aerial application of cover crop seeding on their fields.
In 2015, Eric and Chris decided to tackle the challenge that comes with farming the natural steep hills in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin with assistance from the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). They became an entirely no-till operation, which helped control soil erosion and increase their crop yields while saving time, fuel and labor.
Eric and Chris have grown their collective farming operation to 1300 acres of mainly corn, soybeans, winter wheat, and alfalfa, and they each raise an 80 head beef cow herd. They plan to continue applying conservation efforts and improvements to their farm, along with helping landowners complete projects funded by NRCS financial assistance programs.