Friday, October 14, 2011

Farmer Hero Friday: Tom Nuessmeier of Le Sueur, Minnesota

MattToday's Farmer Hero Friday focuses on Tom Nuessmeier, a fifth generation farmer in Minnesota. Along with his family, he runs an organic farm and raises hogs while employing many conservation practices to keep the land productive for many years to come.
Tom Nuessmeier
Tom Nuessmeier and his family recently experienced an early frost that halted the growth of a majority of their soybean crop weeks before the plants typically reach maturity. On a monoculture farm, this would have meant disaster. The Nuessmeiers, however, had already harvested and sold their winter grain, and grow several other crops which were unaffected by the frost. This diversity of crops is largely a result of the fact that almost all of the family’s land is certified organic and enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) enacted as part of the 2002 Farm Bill.

The CSP is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns, and rewards them for their conservation performance. CSP provides financial and technical assistance to help land stewards conserve and enhance soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. “Of course we’re farming for profitability, but we’re also trying to maintain environmental sensitivity,” says Tom. “We want to farm in harmony with nature, even though it’s working land.”
Click here to read the rest of our profile of Tom.

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