Pottschmidt receives River Friendly Farmer award

Staff Reports

Indiana’s lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands are valuable natural resources.

Protecting these water resources is imperative, and 47 farmers, including one from Jackson County, received accolades Aug. 18 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for their river friendly efforts.

Dale Pottschmidt of Pottschmidt Farms Inc. in Seymour was named Jackson County’s River Friendly Farmer this year.

“Honoring these farmers annually for their conservation efforts is a high priority for the state association of soil and water conservation districts. We are so pleased to be able to meet in person and show our thanks for helping us improve water quality and build soil health statewide,” said Bobby Hettmansperger, board president of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. “We need everyone to get on board like these farmers and make the protection of natural resources a priority so they are here to enjoy for future generations.”

Pottschmidt Farms Inc. raises grain and small livestock in the Muscatatuck and upper East Fork White River watershed, according to a news release from the association.

By using cover crops and no-tilling, the Pottschmidts have improved water infiltration and the worm population on their land. Equipment repairs and field trips have decreased as well as a reduction in run-off.

Pottschmidt has hosted soils judging contests for the Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District and worked with the district on its Lake and River Enhancement grant, removing three large logjams.

The annual award ceremony recognizes farmers for their implementation of conservation practices, such as no-till and cover crops, which ultimately protect waterways and improve water quality in Indiana. These farmers were nominated by their local soil and water conservation district.

Sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau, the River Friendly Farmer Award program began in 2000 and has honored more than 1,000 Indiana farms.

This year, the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts hosted the event. Hettmansperger opened the ceremony.

Others speakers were Randy Kron, Indiana Farm Bureau president; Jerry Raynor, Indiana state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Trevor Laureys, director of soil conservation for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Amie Simpson with Brownfield Ag News was emcee.