Josh farms near Mount Vernon and teaches agronomy at Kirkwood Community College.
What are you doing to practice and promote soil and water quality?
We've done a lot of work with riparian buffer strips, putting in waterways where they're needed and working with the NRCS to design many of those. We've also done a lot of different trials with some alternative crops and cover crops here at the college. So definitely a big believer that there's no one-size-fits-all for conservation. Depending on your landscape and your farm, there are always conservation enhancements that can be tailored to your operation.
What needs for soil health and water quality do you see in your region/county?
We need more awareness by consumers of the work that farmers are doing and the progress that we've made. I also think further understanding research and looking at how those practices can be implemented to improve their operations.
What could be done with more public funding for soil and water quality?
Enhancing some of those cost-share programs increases the number of acres in some conservation programs, whether it's cover crops, CSP programs, CRPA programs, etc. But then also utilizing some of that funding to build bridges and build that conversation between community leaders, community consumers, farmers and the agricultural community to have a productive, collaborative conversation about food-production conservation as a whole.