Nick Hunt

My wife Sue and I are the fourth generation to feed cattle and farm the East Nishnabotna River Valley in southwest Iowa. With help from four employees, we manage 2,400 acres, including 1,100 acres of corn, 800 acres of soybeans and 200 acres of alfalfa. Our family knows that good environmental stewardship protects important natural resources for future generations of farmers.

In the summer, our 120-head commercial cow herd grazes 270 acres of cool-season brome and orchard-grass pasture, and during the winter they utilize cornstalks as forage. The spring brings calving time and in the fall calves are weaned and placed in the feedlot. The feedlot operation includes 60 acres of cattle pens and feed storage at two farms, located about four miles apart. Each year 4,500 head of cattle are fed at these two feedlot locations.

We work closely with many partners to ensure proper nutrient management practices are followed. Manure is collected and spread uniformly and at agronomical rates for maximum crop utilization.

Miles of terraces, tiles and riparian buffer strips have been built with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service assistance, We also worked with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to develop buffer areas by waterways and near our feedlots. Iowa State University Extension provided us with advice and planning information for our animal husbandry, feedlot design and crop science efforts.

Good stewardship is important for economic benefit and can greatly add to your bottom line. But even more importantly, good stewardship is crucial for maintaining the farm for future generations, and maintaining a positive public perception of farmers.

The Hunt family was recognized in conjunction with the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) in 2006.

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