Farm Horizons, April 2012

Ron and Lisa Denn named Wright County’s outstanding conservationists

By Ivan Raconteur

Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Chair Chris Uecker, and the Wright County Board recognized Ronald Denn of Monticello Township Tuesday, for his commitment to conservation as Wright SWCD’s 2011 Outstanding Conservationist.

According to the SWCD, Ron and Lisa Denn were selected by the Wright SWCD for the annual statewide award program. The award was received in December at the annual convention of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and was sponsored by The Farmer Magazine.

The Denns have a cow/calf operation and plant about 650 acres of corn, beans, and hay. The farm has been in the family for 75 years, and Ron’s father, Franklin, is still involved at the age of 90.

Ucker said Ron has converted all of the row crop production to no-till. Along with the use of a hay rotation, these practices are protective of the soil and water resources.

The no-till practices are very noticeable as the fields have very high residue amounts in spring after planting, which greatly reduces erosion and resulting pollution of the adjoining waters. This is a technique that is still quite revolutionary in agriculture in this area.

Ron has placed many of his fields into the Pelican Lake Working Lands Initiative Project. This project has established grassed areas and food plots for the improvement of wildlife and water quality. The area around the farm has good wildlife populations and is used heavily by migrating waterfowl in the spring and fall.

Ron has also placed about 15 acres into the CRP program near a small lake, to provide secure nesting cover for all bird species.

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