Lessons learned from cover cropping on my farm, the 2015 Farm Progress Show, and Natural Resource 4-H project judging at the state fair. 
Conservation E-Newsletter
October 2015

Welcome to my conservation newsletter. If this is your first time reading, my name is Woody and I am the conservation associate for Illinois Stewardship Alliance. My goal is to help make it easier for you to implement conservation practices on your farm that will not only improve soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat for you and the surrounding community, but will also increase the long-term profitability of your farm. As a farmer myself, I understand the unique situations facing farmers today and can draw on my own real life experiences to know what works and what doesn't. This newsletter features articles about lessons I've learned on my farm and through my work at Illinois Stewardship Alliance. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have at 217-528-1563 or via email at woody@ilstewards.org.  Happy reading and happy farming!

Life on Woody's Stewardship Farm: A Reflection on Cover cropping
After listening to the twelve different experienced cover crop farmers sharing their knowledge at the Conservation Partner's Tent during the Farm Progress Show this past month, I'm prompted to reflect on my experiences with cover crops on my own farm.  My knowledge and ability in implementing cover crops into my corn, soy bean, and wheat rotation continues to grow through trial, error, and success.

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Farm Progress in Sustainability: What you need to know from the 2015 Farm Progress Show
The 2015 Farm Progress Show is a farmer's chance to see all the new advancements in farming equipment and technology all in one place. The agricultural spectators come from all over the world to see which innovations are going to propel them into the future. The show is a melting pot of the different types of agricultural companies that supply the needed inputs for a farmer's future success.  This year I was excited to see that healthy systems of local community-supported agricultural markets that are based on farming stewardship is a cultural movement that is being sought-out and promoted worldwide.
Sustainable Shifts in the Food Chain
At one point in time in the history of modern agriculture farmers grew what the consumer wanted to eat. This is known as the law of supply and demand. When the food chain was in its rawest form, farmers supplied whole foods and consumers then finished the chain by grinding, fermenting, drying, canning, and storing, and the law of supply and demand worked.

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What I've Learned from Judging Natural Resource Projects at the State Fair
Photo Credit: George Czapar
In life our successes are measured by our legacy. Some legacies are accumulations of cash and possessions that benefit the closest few for a moment in time. What I witnessed at the 4-H State Fair this year is the type of legacy that will benefit the whole community and last far into the future.
Upcoming Events You Don't Want to Miss
(Simply click on any of the photos below for more details)
The Inside Scoop: A Webinar for Working with the Media to Tell Your Farming Story
October 21

Madison County Cover Crop Seminar and Field Day
November 13, Marine, IL

Cover crop Field Day at Sugar Grove Nature Center

2016 Conservation Cropping Seminars
January 26, Champaign
January 27, Godfrey
January 28th, Milan

George Roberts Farm Conservation Fiel Day 
November 9 , Trivoli, IL

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