Like many farmers, when the idea of getting involved with government programming was raised, Grant Breitkreutz was a bit skeptical. So, he started doing some studying on his own.

 “I researched the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) for years before I?went and applied for one of its programs,”?said Breitkreutz. 


 

Like many farmers, when the idea of getting involved with government programming was raised, Grant Breitkreutz was a bit skeptical. So, he started doing some studying on his own. “I researched the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) for years before I?went and applied for one of its programs,”?said Breitkreutz, adding since then he has been involved with five different contracts through the USDA agency. In fact, the Breitkreutz operation has enrolled in a variety of programs in an effort to enhance production. Whether it is in erosion control measures or rotational grazing for the cattle, Breitkreutz is a believer. He and wife, Dawn, have also been recognized for their conservation efforts, as they were recently named the Redwood County Outstanding Conser-vationists for 2010. “We’re proud of Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz for what they’ve done in conserving our natural resources in our area,” said Marilyn Bern-hardson, Administrator of the Redwood Soil and Water Conservation District, which nominated them.  “It’s great to be able to recognize the work they’ve done locally.   “Redwood SWCD’s reasons for nominating Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz for Outstanding Conservationist of the Year are endless.   Through the use of prescribed grazing, Grant and Dawn have been able to improve every system on their farm, including the addition of extended riparian buffer areas, restoring remnant prairie, improving erosion control measures, pest management and nutrient management.   “Grant and Dawn are exceptionally conservation minded with everything that they do.” Grant and Dawn Breit-kreutz has also been named a Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District (MASWCD) finalist for the state’ outstanding conservationist award. The Breitkreutz operation is going to be recognized at the MASWCD?annual convention during a luncheon being held Dec. 7. At that event, the Outstanding Con-servationist of 2010 for the state is going to be named. The operation, said Grant, includes no-till and mulch till practices, as well as the use of cover crops. The crop rotation includes a variety of commodities, including corn and soybeans, as well as wheat, alfalfa, Italian Rye Grass and a unique crop called Triticale, which Dawn described as a cross between rye and barley. Grant said he moved toward the use of conservation practices, as he continued to read data showing the efforts were showing big returns for those utilizing them in their operations. Their conservation practices have taken a whole-farm approach, as they address wind and water erosion prevention, as well as grazing on a prescribed schedule that allows certain paddocks of land to rest in between feedings. Grant said the efforts are working out, adding there was a time when the efforts were cut back. “We could see right away the difference when we cut back,”?he said. The operation has been involved in EQIP through NRCS at various times over the past eight years, with everything from nutrient and manure management to pest management and fencing cost share programs all part of the operation. Breitkreiutz said he has a 39 mile fence perimeter set up with seven different large sized pastures being used. The operation also in-cludes custom fencing company, as well as a new custom baling operation called Circle B Custom Company. The Breitkreutz get a lot of help from family, including Grants mom and dad and his brothers, and he said none of what he does could have been done without their assistance. Dawn and Grant admitted they were surprised to hear they had been nominated for the award. Yet, one can see they are worthy of the award, because they have put in place practices that have the land in mind, which is good for the environment and their bottom line.