Dean Sponheim, Mitchell County

Farms: Corn and soybeans

Conservation practices used: Strip-tillage, strip-cropping, variable rate nutrients, cover crops

Value of conservation: I first started implementing conservation practices for economic reasons. Along with the economic benefits, our conservation efforts are helping with better water infiltration, soil tilth, keeping soil intact and overall soil health.

Advice for other farmers: Don't be afraid to try new things. I was hesitant at first, but after we started implementing conservation practices, it got easier to continue trying new things. I love seeing new people getting started as well.

“To me, healthy soil is active soil that is getting us back to the native soil we had under the prairie. We aren't going to get there overnight, but that's what soil health means to me.”

Value of the Iowa Corn membership: I first became an Iowa Corn member because I wanted to be part of an organization that promotes our product. Not only does Iowa Corn promote corn products, but it also helps us with all the issues that go along with corn production. This whole water quality thing isn't going away and Iowa Corn is going to be a part of that with us.