Mark and Phyllis Legan of Coatesville, Ind., received the American Soybean Association’s Conservation Legacy Award for the Northeast Region at last week’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio. The program is sponsored by BASF, Monsanto, the United Soybean Board and Corn and Soybean Digest, and recognizes soybean farmers across the country for their outstanding environmental and conservation practices, while maintaining profitable farming operations.
“With an efficient livestock operation operating hand-in-hand with the farm’s soybean and barley operations, the Legans’ farm is a great case study in the variety and diversity of individual farms within our industry. Mark and Phyllis have done a wonderful job making use of the nutrients generated by their livestock and returning those to the soil in their fields,” said ASA President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser. “What’s more, the Legans are first generation farmers, and have brought a unique perspective to their work that will undoubtedly help other first generation operators do the same.”
The Legans’ operation is both 100 percent no-till and 100 percent cover cropped, which Phyllis says enhances soil biological activity and improves organic matter. The Legans also utilize the manure from their large-scale hog operation as a nutrient for integration into their soil. Through drainage tiling, cover cropping, man-made wetlands and other methods, the Legans are also invested in smart water management on their farm as well.
“Conservation means using our land and water resources, but leaving them in as good or better shape than when we were entrusted with them,” says Mark. “At the same time, we are living and working at a productive, sustainable farm and leaving it in good shape for future generations.”
ASA presented the award to the Legans on Friday during the association’s annual awards banquet at Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Nominations are open for the 2015 Conservation Legacy Awards Program online at www.SoyGrowers.com/Award-Programs.