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Last week, five Soil Health Partnership (SHP) farmers received the “Seeds of Change” awards at the 2020 Commodity Classic. These awards highlight those participants in SHP who go above and beyond to promote soil health throughout the year.

“The Soil Health Partnership’s farmers are at the core of our work. Without their commitment and support, the work of SHP does not exist. I feel honored to partner with this strong group of farmers and recognize five farmers that go above and beyond in their work with SHP,” said John Mesko, SHP senior director.

SHP is a farmer-led initiative that promotes the adoption of soil health practices for economic and environmental benefit. A program of the National Corn Growers Association, SHP extends to more than 200 working farms in 16 states.  While building a peer-to-peer network, SHP collects on-farm data to evaluate the impacts of soil health practices on the soil, the environment, and the farmer’s bottom line.

The five award recipients are:

Super Sprout: Trinity Creek Ranch

The father-daughter duo, Mikayla Tabert and David Miller of Trinity Creek Ranch, in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, received the Super Sprout award for their continuous experiments with management practices to improve soil health, despite the challenges of a shorter growing season and extremely cold winters.

Champion Communicator: Mark Heckman with Heckman Farms

Mark Heckman of Heckman Farms, in West Liberty, Iowa, received the Champion Communicator award for his work helping other farmers understand his farm’s soil health journey.

Data Dominator: Daryl and Jason Maple with Maple Farms

Receiving the Data Dominator award is Daryl and Jason Maple of Maple Farms in Kokomo, Indiana for promoting optimum soil health by timely sharing data with many precision ag programs. They are confident that their data will tell the story of what changes are taking place in their field and they genuinely enjoy the learning opportunities of their Soil Health Partnership trial.

Exceptional Educator: Doug Palen with Palen Family Farms

The Exceptional Educator award goes to Doug Palen of Palen Family Farms in Glen Elder, Kansas. Doug and his family enjoy talking about their soil health management experiences, and they jump into many experiences with both feet, giving them even more to teach.

Ace Agronomist: Darin Kennelly with Precise Crop

Darin Kennelly of Precise Crop received the Ace Agronomist award for his leadership with his test plots. He works diligently to ensure soil tests are pulled correctly, is actively engaged in all soil testing, and is well respected with his farmer. Darin asks thought provoking questions and engages with SHP to ensure his test plots are done with great integrity. Darin is an independent ag consultant based in central Illinois.

Read the complete press release celebrating these award-winners here.