The Nature Conservancy recognizes Soil Health Heroes


The Nature Conservancy recognizes Soil Health Heroes

The Nature Conservancy is honoring Soil Health Heroes for their work protecting one of Michigan’s largest agricultural watersheds.

Nate Rupprecht farms 500 acres and operates a dairy farm with his family in Vassar.  He tells Brownfield when he took over the farm after high school, soils were variable, and it was evident something needed to change.

“You’d get big rain events, and we’d have washouts,” he says.  “You’d have days when I was out there planting, and at the time in a tractor with no cab, I should have had a dusk mask on because we had so much dirt embedded in the air.”

Rupprecht says the first step was no-till for better soil stability and has experimented along the way to include using multi-species cover crops for his dairy ration today.

“It also allows you to double-crop your acres,” he adds.

Rupprecht was nominated by his peers for The Nature Conservancy’s Soil Health Conservation Legacy Award.

Other Saginaw Bay Soil Health Hero awards winners include:

  • Impact: Pohl Dairy (Mt. Pleasant, MI)
  • Innovation: Don Morse, Morse Farms (Birch Run, MI)
  • Newcomer: Scott Brechtelsbauer (Reese, MI)
  • Agribusiness: Lisa Woodke, Star of the West Milling Co.

About 20 percent of Michigan’s agricultural acres are in the 5.5 million-acre Saginaw Bay watershed.