Fillmore Soil and Water
     Conservation District
     507-765-3878 Ext. 3

     900 Washington St. NW
     Preston, MN 55965


Conservationist of the Year

Jeff and Norman Eickhoff of Wykoff have been selected as the 2016 Fillmore County Outstanding Conservationists.  The Eickhoff's will be honored at a luncheon at the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts' Annual Convention which will be held December 4th  6th at the Double Tree by Hilton, Bloomington-Minneapolis South.  They will compete with winners from across Minnesota for the title of Minnesota Outstanding Conservationists.

Jeff and Norman own approximately 750 acres of which 595 acres is cropland that is all minimum-till using a disk chisel on corn stalks in the fall.  All fields are worked just once in the spring using a soil finisher before planting.  Liquid manure is incorporated after beans are harvested in the fall.  Soil tests are taken every four years.  Their nitrogen is knife-injected in the spring as needed.  P and K are applied with the corn planter on acres that did not receive manure.

The Eickhoff's wean-to-finish 1,850 hogs every six months as a contract finisher.  They keep their nutrient management plan updated with the Nutrient Management Specialist at the SWCD.  The manure is tested each time the pits are pumped.  Most of the manure is applied in the fall, while some is applied in the spring according to the needs determined by the manure tests and nutrient management plan.  They also raise 20 goats that are used for meat, milking, sold as breeding stock or for 4-H projects.

Installed to treat runoff from the open lot by their barn was a filter strip and picket fence to create a zero discharge feedlot and divert the runoff away from a sinkhole.  This was the first of its kind in Fillmore County installed with cost share.  A pond is located at the end of the filter strip to catch the runoff.

Jeff and Norman have installed many terraces and waterways both with cost share and on their own.  If a waterway needs repair, they shape it and plant their crop perpendicular to it.  After the crop is up and sprayed, they seed the waterway and clip it a couple of times which destroys the crop but helps to prevent washing and gives the grasses a chance to get established.

Jeff is very active with community organizations.  He is the current president of the Fillmore County Farm Bureau, is a member of the Parent Teacher League at St. John's School in Wykoff, and also serves on the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation.  He has been a 4-H leader and on the Beef Producers Board.

The farms Jeff and Norman own have been in the family for over 140 years.  Jeff and Norman are carrying on the tradition of conservation, community involvement and leadership.  Jeff is maintaining the practices that Norman and others before him have installed while adopting new practices that will sustain the farm for future generations.

Congratulations Jeff and Norman for setting an example for others that encourages better land stewardship.

Past Outstanding Conservationists

2015 - Goldsmith Brothers, Ross & Steve

2014 - John & Deb Bruihler

2013 - Arden & Judy Willford

2012 - Duschee Hills Dairy

2011 - Larry and Irene Mathison & Loren and Carrie Mathison

2010 - Bailey Brothers

2009 - Dan & Sherry Hanson  

2008 - Arlo & Mary Helen Schmitt

2007 - Heusinkveld Farm - Cleon, Steve, Jeff, Nate

2006 - Gary & Deborah Anderson

2005 - The Serfling Family - Dave, Diane, Hannah, Ethan

2004 - Phil & Ruth Abrahamson

2003 - David & Alice Terbeest

2002 - Jerry & Ardis Rindels

2001 - Sass Family Farms

2000 - Dean, Glen & Doris Thomas

1999 - Maynard & Sandi Thompson

1998 - Dan & Cara Miller

1997 - 1976 Outstanding Conservationists

Other Award Winners

2009 - Teacher Award - Craig Colbenson

2009 - Community Conservationists - City of Rushford

2008 - Education Award - Vance & Bonnie Haugen

 

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