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In your own words... ‘What is one positive change you have made on your farm to better the community?’

Published on 11 June 2015

james leick

James Leick
New Day Dairy
Clarksville, Iowa

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“We dragline our manure instead of hauling it on roads in tankers, which keeps down the dust and controls odor. We have a custom operator who comes in, and he lays down hose, just a big hose that goes from the manure pit.

We pump it from the manure pit to the field. We can go 2 to 3 miles away. It’s hooked onto the back of a tractor to the plow, and they incorporate it right into the ground as the tractor drives back and forth in the field dragging that hose from the manure pit.

“[The manure] is pumped through the hose right down behind the tractor where it is immediately incorporated into the ground. That helps eliminate the odor. Our neighbors would always notice when we were spreading manure.

We’d always hear about it. We’d always get blamed because we were one of the first ones in the area to add liquid manure. While it’s spreading around the area, they always say we’re doing it. I think [this way is] more good-natured.

No one really gets upset anymore, but we’ve always done a really good job, even when we spread it on top. We’d always incorporate it within 24 hours. We stayed out of the field when it was wet so we didn’t track mud and manure all over the roads. We tried to be a good neighbor to everybody.”

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bill henke

Bill Henke
Beaver Creek Dairy LLC
Coopersville, Michigan

“We are just starting to build a manure digester. We are also putting in a water recycling system. My goal with this is to help manage manure and reduce volume as well as cut down on road traffic.”

katie dotterer - pyle

Katie Dotterer Pyle
Union Bridge, Maryland

“Over the past year, we worked with NRCS to build a reception pit to collect leachate. Otherwise, it would flow into the stream on our property that eventually runs into the Chesapeake Bay.”

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marcie feine

Marcie Feine
Feine-est Heifer Farm
Rushford, Minnesota

“We’re very open to showing people how we care for our animals, especially children. They can help feed a bottle of milk to a calf and have close contact with her. They’ll learn that as she grows up, she’ll have a baby and that she’ll start producing milk that they can drink and that’s in the grocery stores, but it comes from a farm, not a store.

Through our local high school, we have hired several youth through their school-to-work program, and it’s been a great opportunity to give a young person their first chance at a real job. We take it quite seriously that they learn, that they’re not just a body, they’re doing something. They’re leaning from us what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and how it affects the food chain and how seriously we take that commitment to the public.” PD

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