Anderson recognized as environmental leader at State Fair

Robert Maharry

Steve Anderson didn’t have to look far for inspiration in taking on water quality and soil health projects at his farm, which straddles the Grundy-Marshall-Tama County line south of Beaman. It came in the form of his two sons, Shadner and Sawyer.
“A lot of this originated because the boys want to farm. It made me start thinking about the future and becoming more aware of what’s actually going on,” Anderson said. “So that’s the reason.”
Anderson was recently honored as one of this year’s 53 “Iowa Farm Environmental Leaders” at the State Fair in Des Moines last month, and he was commended for his efforts to promote cover crops, strip tillage and no-till methods. Last winter, he hosted a cover crop meeting at his shop that drew over 50 attendees from around the area (and as far away as Minnesota), and he’s a frequent guest on radio programs sponsored by the Iowa Agribusiness Association discussing cover cropping as well as a leader with the Marshall County Farm Bureau organization.
His first foray into the world of cover crops was admittedly modest: five years ago, Anderson planted them on 50 acres and received some cost share assistance from the Grundy County Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The only way to find out if it was something he’d continue doing, he surmised, was to give it a try.
“It was okay, but we learned a lot of things not to do and a lot of things to do,” he said.
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