Schueler Farms Selected as 2019 Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District Outstanding Conservationists
The Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is pleased to annouce Sherman and Kevin Schueler from Willmar as the 2019 Outstanding Conservationists of Kandiyohi County. Schueler Farms will be formally recognized by the SWCD and the "Farmer" magazine at the award ceremony of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) 2019 annual convention in Bloomington MN awards on December 10, 2019.

Schueler Farms has been an active Kandiyohi county family farm since 1903.  While the Schueler family farm has seen many changes over the years, perhaps the largest transition was in 2011 when they decided to close their 250-stall milking parlor and move their farm in a new direction.  The new direction Schueler Farms turned out to be quite like the way the family farm once operated many years ago.

Using the lessons learned in their early farming days along with additonal research on Amish and organic farming practices, the Schuelers created a new commerical hay and cattle farm and began moving towards one hundred percent certified organic crop production. The conventional farming practices of deep tilage, commerical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides were replaced in favor of more soil and water friendly practices.In the eight years since transitioning from dairy, Sherman and Kevin have focused on building soil health and promoting traditional animal nutrition practices. In their own words they have "relearned what their ancestors knew, and the current generations have forgotten about farming and animal health". Sherman and Kevin know that the foundation of the family farm is the soil.  Noting that healthy soil and its billions of microbes and invertebrate residents are the "factory workers" of the soil.  The Schuelers are quick to point out that caring for their soil along with its workforce of organisms alive and well has become a primary goal and a major factor in the decisions they make for the land.

More visible and recognizable conservation efforts by Schueler Farms include the folowing: One and a half miles of hardwood field windbreak. One and half miles of grass buffer strips along the ditch, cover crop planted between row crops to help nourish and protect the soil year-round.  A perennial grass and alfalfa crop rotation which inceases rainfall infiltration and reduce runoff. Grass fed Low Line Angus cattle are rotationally grazed and moved to new paddocks daily for optimum animal nutrition, plant growth and soil health benefits. Blind Intakes have replaced traditional open tile intakes to help meter out and filter stormwater. A pair of water and sediment control basins have been constructed to slow water runoff and prevent soil erosion. Permanent conservation easement area for water quality and wildlife featuring restored wetland created by the Schuelers provides excellent habitat for resident and migratory wildlife.

Schueler Farms has demonstrated a great commitment and willingness to adopt and install the many conservation practices mentioned above on their farm.  The Kandiyohi SWCD hopes that highlighting and recognizing their unique achievements and successes, Schueler Farms can help to provide a positive example alternative model for other producers to follow.  Thank you and Congratulations to Schueler Farms of Willmar .      


List of Outstanding Conservationists
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