Ohio farmers featured in national natural resources conservation effort

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COLUMBUS — Scott Stoller and his family were recognized for their conservation commitment as part of a national conservation campaign recently launched by the U.S Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, said Terry Cosby, state conservationist for Natural Resources Conservation Service in Ohio.

The Stollers are featured in the service’s national campaign called “Conservation … Our Purpose. Our Passion.”

Stoller joins eight landowners and their families nationwide who are being honored for stellar conservation achievements. The campaign’s educational outreach materials include a five-minute video, web site, exhibits and a brochure.

Good example

On their farm in Sterling, Ohio, the Stollers serve as an example of producers who have chosen to farm with excellent conservation practices. Scott and Charlene Stoller and their seven children operate a 250-acre certified organic dairy farm where they raise corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and alfalfa.

They milk 90 Holsteins and market all of their milk through Organic Valley Co-op. Their initial conservation work began as they transitioned from a conventional to a rotational grazing system.

They currently manage about 50 acres of permanent pasture, divided into 11 paddocks for grazing, to reduce mechanical harvesting and the need for manure spreading.

Efforts

They have used farm bill programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, to complete a number of best management practices such as: developing a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan; constructing a 250,000-gallon manure storage structure; installing fencing to keep cattle out of streams; practicing woodland management; and adding 7.5 acres of riparian buffers with approximately 3,700 trees through the Conservation Reserve Program.

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