The Roberts Conservation District announces David and Becky Hansen – winner of the 2013 Soil Conservation Award
The Soil Conservation Award Program was created by the South Dakota Legislature in 2008 to recognize exceptional farming and ranching practices that conserve soil and other natural resources. The Program was implemented by the State Conservation Commission.
Calvin Thompson, RCD President with David and Becky Hansen
David, Becky Hansen and his son operate a 5100 acre farming operation in southeastern Roberts County near,Wilmot, SD. Included in their rotation is corn, soybeans, spring wheat and alfalfa. They also run a cow/calf operation on over 2000 acres of grassland. Through the year, the Hansen’s have participated in several different conservation programs resulting in a strong conservation ethic on their farm. Programs they currently are participating in are the Conservation Stewardship Program, The Upper Mississippi River Basin Initiative EQIP, Conservation Reserve Program and the past, the Little Minnesota River/Big Stone Lake PL-566 small watersheds program. Over two miles of cross-fence has been installed on the range land in addition to watering facilities thus resulting in good grazing management. Minimum tillage is practiced on much of the farming operation while rotating wheat, corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Shelter belts have been planted near the headquarters to provide protection for wintering livestock and other existing windbreaks are located throughout their farming operation.
“Even though agricultural is the number one industry in South Dakota, producers are often overlooked by the general public,” said Walt Bones, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. “This award highlights their dedication to natural resource conservation and demonstrates that South Dakota producers are leaders when it comes to sustainable agricultural production.”
Current state residents or groups may nominate any South Dakota farming or ranching operation for the award by submitting a nomination form—(click to download) or pick up a form at any Conservation District office—to the producer’s local Conservation District.
Producers utilizing grassed waterways, terraces, crop rotations, sufficient crop residue to protect soil stability, no-till, grasslands managed for sustainable productivity, livestock management to limit soil and nutrient runoff or forest lands managed according to a forest stewardship plan to conserve soil are eligible for the award.
Nominations must be received by the Conservation District by no later than January 1 of each calendar year.