Sometimes compliments come in surprising places. For strip-tillers, those compliments come in the book, “The Ethical Gourmet: How To Enjoy Great Food That Is Humanely Raised, Sustainable, Nonendangered and that Replenishes The Earth.”
The book by chef and journalist Jay Weinstein is also chock full of all-too-familiar criticisms of modern agriculture, ranging from confinements to farm program payments and much more. But it also contains four pages of in-depth discussion of conservation tillage. He even quotes veteran conservation consultant Dan Towery about the role herbicides play in no-tillage.
Weinstein notes that strip-till can reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and save fuel. For advocates of strip-till and other forms of conservation tillage, Weinstein’s connection of soil erosion and water quality rings true.
It made me think of strip-tillers like Jordan Bennett, who’s farming with both economically and environmentally sound practices. Bennett, who farms near Hermiston, Ore., is featured in this issue of Strip-Till Strategies and recently received a Responsible Nutrient Manager’s award at the 2011 National No-Tillage Conference in Cincinnati.
Like many other places throughout the U.S., there’s a concern in Oregon about nutrient management and water quality, and Bennett is one of many young, progressive farmers working to improve their operation in a way that also benefits the public.