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Adam Abel, NRCS Soil Conservationist, Receives National Pastureland Conservationist Award

Adam Abel receives award.Madison, Wis. – January 22, 2018 – Adam Abel, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Appleton Area Soil Conservationist, received the NRCS Pastureland Conservationist of the Year Award. The honor was presented at the annual American Forage and Grassland Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, January 16, 2018.

This award recognizes an NRCS employee for their exceptional education and outreach to promote sustainable grazing practices. Adam has exemplified outstanding service to the agency, its clients and the science of grazing land management. He is a central Wisconsin native who grew up on a dairy and beef farm. For the past nine years, he has been providing outstanding grazing lands technical assistance as a major part of his soil conservationist duties in northeast Wisconsin. Adam received his recognition for excelling in five categories (1) communication, (2) training, (3) partnerships, (4) conservation application, and (5) job complexity.

Adam gives countless presentations on managed grazing to Wisconsin farmers, landowners, partners, employees, teachers, tribes, historically underserved groups, conservation groups and the general public. Presentations include benefits, design, layout and implementation of grazing systems. He regularly presents at grazing field days and conferences on topics such as heifer grazing, pasture design, fencing, livestock water and trails. “The very first time I saw Adam give a presentation, his enthusiasm was clear; his passion for working with local graziers in Wisconsin is making a difference on their operations and subsequently our natural resources,” said Angela Biggs, Wisconsin State Conservationist. 

Adam has also organized and led many pasture walks. This gives him an opportunity to meet potential new graziers and network with experienced graziers, learning and offering advice on current and future grazing opportunities. “Adam exemplifies what conservation is; he is always willing to go the extra mile for producers who want to work with NRCS to implement managed grazing,” said Biggs. “Adam also makes an effort to connect new graziers with more experienced graziers because he feels communication and collaboration are essential in implementing managed grazing,” added Brian Pillsbury, NRCS Wisconsin State Grazing Land Specialist.

Adam has also been instrumental in many partnership efforts, for example, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Lower Fox Demonstration Farms Network. The network is a series of six farms showcasing and demonstrating leading edge conservation practices that improve Great Lakes water quality by reducing phosphorus from entering Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Adam plans and leads Demonstration Farm field days and tours in the watershed with producers who have converted cropland and practice managed grazing.

Adam’s leadership qualities are easily recognized in his ability to train and work with producers and new employees in grazing management. “He has mentored and trained many of his peers and countless farmers interested in managed grazing on planning, design, implementation and the writing of Managed Grazing Plans,” said Pillsbury.

Adam also actively promotes soil health practices on cropland, including cover crops, hay rotations and no-till. Northeast Wisconsin has one of the highest concentrations of dairy cattle in the U.S. and Adam is up to the challenge of working with diary producers to plant cover crops and graze them effectively with heifers. Adam’s work is exemplary and his positive, professional attitude enables him to build key partnerships and work to expand managed grazing across the state. Please join us in congratulating Adam Abel as the 2018 National Pastureland Conservationist Award recipient.  

For more information about managed grazing and the financial and technical assistance NRCS provides to implement a managed grazing system, visit or contact your local NRCS Service Center.

Photo (L to R) Charles Kneuper, Acting National Range Management Specialist; Angela Biggs, Wisconsin NRCS State Conservationist and Adam Abel, NRCS Soil Conservationist.


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