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Earth Day Every Day

EarthDay-WebpageHeader-2018On Earth Day we celebrate the farmers, ranchers and foresters who’ve arranged their lives and livelihoods to improve the environment for us all. Every single day, these environmental stewards demonstrate that agriculture can be productive and regenerative.

These stewards are not martyrs, sacrificing profitability for sustainability. On the contrary, investments in conservation save them time and money, make their land resilient and fertile, while striking a healthy balance between man and nature.

Across the United States a growing number of farmers are adopting conservation practices that will allow our children to celebrate healthy, beautiful environments on future Earth Days.

We invite you to meet a few of these producers: 

Starting on the East Coast, NC farmer Russell Hedrick is a first-generation farmer who is saving more than $70 per acre by planting cover crops instead of applying fertilizer.

Starting on the East Coast, NC farmer Russell Hedrick is a first-generation farmer who is saving more than $70 per acre by planting cover crops instead of applying fertilizer.

And at 318.5 bushels per acre, Hedrick was the dryland division state winner in the 2016 North Carolina Corn Yield Contest.

Next we’ll travel down towards the Gulf and meet Texas urban farmer Garland Hampton.

After commuting for an entire career, Garland wanted an active retirement that would keep him local and benefit his community in the suburbs of Dallas

After commuting for an entire career, Garland wanted an active retirement that would keep him local and benefit his community in the suburbs of Dallas. He found the best way to make a difference, was to provide his neighbors with fresh, locally-grown vegetables.

High tunnels have let him extend his growing season and quickly rebuild his soil’s health. Business is good. On three acres, he’s about to outgrow competitors with 200 acres.

As we travel west to the vast plains of Oklahoma, Bruce and Julie Hoffman invite us to their ranch, where they are working with NRCS to restore the prairie.

Fire suppression and overgrazing have allowed invasive trees to make deep inroads into the prairie.

Fire suppression and overgrazing have allowed invasive trees to make deep inroads into the prairie. These trees, juniper and redcedar, soak up water, shade out grasses and provide habitat to predators that hunt native prairie species.

Bruce and Juile are fighting redcedars one-by-one on the ranch they manage. As they remove the trees, the prairie sprouts and blooms in reclaimed areas.

Traveling even further west to the Oregon coast, we meet Nick Puhl who is helping his family convert to the latest conservation technologies.

Working with NRCS, Cape Blanco Cranberries installed a new irrigation automation system that allows them to remotely control their sprinklers using an internet or radio connection

Working with NRCS, Cape Blanco Cranberries installed a new irrigation automation system that allows them to remotely control their sprinklers using an internet or radio connection. An automated system, which can cycle water on and off as needed based on temperature readings, can reduce water and energy use by up to 50 percent.

“If you’re willing to put in the work to learn the technology, you can really increase your sustainability,” Nick says. “The equipment is expensive, but with NRCS’s help, we’re able to produce more fruit with less wear on our equipment, all while using less water and electricity.”

Thank you to all of the farmers, ranchers and foresters who treat every day as Earth Day. We are proud and honored to work with you.