“Our grandfather broke the land, my Dad took everything out of it, and now it’s Monty’s and my job to put it back,” says Mike Cronin of Cronin Family Farms, this year’s winner, with Dan Forgey, of the Leopold Conservation Award in South Dakota. He and his family started that process by implementing no-till cropping in their farm operation. That spread to the livestock side of the operation when the “cowboys” decided they should do something similar with the cattle, moving them from pasture to pasture and using the residue for grazing to reduce costs and help with soil building. By joining the two parts of the farming/ranching operation, not only are they building soil health and creating a more profitable operation, they’re also building a future for the next generation.
Working together as a family is what makes their operation so strong. “We have to not farming for this year. We’re farming for our kids and our kids’ kids,” says Tregg Cronin.
We hope this beautiful video describing Cronin Farms and their successes will give you some ideas of things you can do on your place. And if you have questions about the hows of getting some of this done, let us know and we’ll get to work finding the answers for you.