Our family has been on this farm since 1934. We had a pedigreed dairy herd and purebred swine until the late 70s when we moved on to seed production and seed sales.
I had a seed processing plant on the farm and worked in the industry for over twenty years until I retired to cash crop farming. For the last five years, I have worked with a neighbour in a share arrangement. They are good farmers, paying lots of attention to reduced tillage and cover crops. Our yields have greatly benefited from this system.
Our farm is systematically tiled with new large municipal drains.
It was during the discussions about the municipal drain that the idea of adding wetlands to the farm was proposed. We started with eight small/large wetland ponds in 2013 and have added four more in the last few years.
The addition of the ponds has allowed us to go with a slightly smaller municipal drain but more importantly, it has greatly reduced soil erosion to the point that we were able to remove a number of large grass waterways.
Since the wetlands have been here, wildlife and new plant species have exploded. Last fall we seeded 3 acres of tallgrass prairie to create a buffer between our wetlands and the surrounding farmland.
We have been fortunate to receive many grants over the years that have covered much of our expenses.
From our farm, on the top of the Catfish Creek watershed, our main drain exits to an open ditch a mile from here then directly to Catfish Creek and Lake Erie. Anything we can do to slow the flow of water will help maintain the health of our Great Lakes.
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