Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Soil Conservation & Old Friends

The 43rd Annual Kiwanis Ag Recognition Banquet was held last night at the Seward Ag Pavilion where the Jason Brase family were honored as the Outstanding Farm Family. Since the year 2000, the Seward Area Chamber of Commerce and the County Agricultural Society have joined with the Kiwanis event to induct members of the Seward County Hall of Agriculture Achievement. Inductees last night were Norman Gerkensmeyer and Jack Broderick. Jack has headed the Seward High School Future Farmers of America for the past 34 years and has one of the largest, most successful programs in the State. Norman has lived on the same farm since he was born in 1924. Both of the inductees have received recognition and numerous awards over the years but what caught my eye in Norman’s “story” was that he won the Seward County plow terracing contest in 1948, the State contest in Madison County, and placed 3rd in the National contest near Harlan, IA. I was well aware of all of that having begun employment with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in the spring of ’48 and went to Iowa on August 24th to see Norman compete. My folks got a new Fleetline Chevrolet on the 7th of August and My Dad, brother and I drove it to Iowa to witness the National contest. Building farm terraces with a moldboard plow was soon replaced by other machines but for a few years it was a way that farmers could “Save the Soil” with the equipment they already had on the farm.

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