Rob StoutWashington, Iowa
Rob Stout farms with his stepson Alex in Washington County. Stout first started using no-till four decades ago and was an early adopter of cover crops. He was awarded the Environmental Leader Award in 2017 by the Iowa Soybean Association.
What is your vision for your region?
The ultimate vision is that all acres of farmland in the county would be farmed no-till and over half would be using cover crops, and a third crop would be used on more acres, keeping a plant growing on the farmland more months of the year.
What needs for soil health and water quality do you see in your region/county?
As farmers, we need to take ownership of our responsibility to water quality downstream and how it affects others all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. We can be a leader in addressing the problem and reaching a solution.
What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?
Limitations are funding, education, and being willing to change. Trying to show neighbors conservation works and is good for the environment results in better water quality. Watershed groups are an excellent way to improve the watershed you are a part of. Farmers need more funds for water quality testing because if you don't know where you are, you don't know if you need to change practices to be better—also, more research funding and cost-share are important.