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Bensend is a Finalist for ASA's Conservation Legacy Award
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/20/2017

A Barron County crop producer will be recognized next month as one of three national finalists for the American Soybean Association's Conservation Legacy Award. Andy Bensend of Dallas will be honored at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, where he will compete to become the top winner.

The Conservation Legacy Awards Program is a national program designed to recognize the outstanding environmental and conservation achievement of soybean farmers, which helps produce more sustainable U.S. soybeans.

For over 30 years, Bensend has been on an educational journey to developing an environmentally sensitive, yet highly productive, approach to farming. He says he strives to restore productivity to land that has been depleted by erosion or other factors.

"My strategy has been really quite simple. Number one is to reduce tillage. My goal is to eliminate tillage almost entirely," Bensend said. "The second is to correct deficiencies. If we can use livestock waste, manure is a great way to correct some of those deficiencies."

Bensend further explained that his next step is to restore soil quality. In the last five to seven years, he has significantly increased the use of cover crops in his operation to achieve this objective. Andy also helped found a local group of like-minded growers in his area called Farmers of Barron County Watersheds, that helps promote use of cover crops and other valuable conservation practices.

Other finalists for the award include producers from Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

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