By Anne Koliha, Technician
The 2019 Outstanding Conservationists selected by the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was Johnson Rolling Acres of Peterson. They were honored at a luncheon at the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District’s (MASWCD) annual convention held on December 10 in Bloomington, where Outstanding Conservationists from across Minnesota were recognized.
Each year, the state’s SWCDs recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources. The award program is conducted with support from The Farmer magazine.
Johnson Rolling Acres is a third generation family farming operation which includes a large dairy operation milking around 1,200 cows, with additional heifers and calves raised at other facilities and raise 4,000 head of swine finishers. The operation farms about 3,000 acres that are a rotation of corn for silage and grain and grass/alfalfa. The Johnsons drag-line direct inject all manure from the dairy and hog facilities and drill in cover crops each year on the corn silage ground.
Since 2009 Johnson Rolling Acres has been an edge of field cooperator for the Root River Field to Stream Partnership (RRFSP) water quality project and served on the advisory team. They have hosted numerous RRFSP educational field days over the past 10 years at their edge-of-field runoff monitoring station and dairy facility. One example of a recent field day was hosting a low disturbance manure injection demonstration on their farm in the fall of 2018.
As a result of the field walkover process in the Bridge Creek Watershed, 17,850 feet of new and rehabilitated grassed waterways were installed on land they operate within just two years along with installation of contour buffer strip. They continue to maintain a six-acre CRP roadside windbreak along State Highway 43.
In keeping busy with the daily farm items, members of the Johnson Rolling Acres are also involved with local groups such as Ttownship, Planning Commission, Dairy Association and Ag Partners Coop to mention a few. The Fillmore SWCD congratulates Johnson Rolling Acres on their conservation efforts.