Soil stewardship shows respect for the future
Combined, the Leavenworth County 2000 Bankers Soil Conservation Award winners signify the ownership of close to 400 years of family-owned farms.
L.J. Milleret and his son, Mark Milleret, Linwood, farm land first purchased by L.J.'s father in the early 1900s.
Bob Forge and his brother, Tim Forge, who live north of Leavenworth, farm ground that has been in their family for close to 100 years.
In the 1860s, Walter "Buster" Sharp's great-grandparents built a house on land he owns today.
Arlene Wedel and her late husband, B.J. Wedel, moved to their farmstead south of Tonganoxie in 1948.
The award-winners, who are featured on pages 6A and 7A of today's edition of The Mirror, all agree that today it would be cost-prohibitive today to establish a farm from scratch. Likewise, considering the growing urbanization in rural Leavenworth County, these landowners know that someday their land may be snapped up by developers.
And yet, they continue their conservation efforts, working to ensure that the soil's quality doesn't decline because of water and wind erosion.
They know the value of stewardship, of taking care of the land whether for their good now, or for the good of generations to come.
Or, as Bob Forge said, "This land really isn't mine in the long run I'm just a renter, taking care of it for someone else."
Their exceptional care of land in our county deserves high praise.