A southwest Iowa cattle producer has been selected as the Region 3 winner of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s program that highlights exceptional work done by cattle producers to protect and enhance the environment. Officials with the NCBA report Nichols Farms, LTD., of Bridgewater, was announced as the Region 3 winner in the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) at the Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver on Thursday (July 31st). The family farm operation is managed by Dave Nichols, Phyllis Nichols and Lillian Nichols, and covers Adair, Adams and Cass counties.
Nichols Farms of Bridgewater, owned by (from left) Dave and Phyllis Nichols and Lillian Nichols.
Nichols Farms, an internationally known seedstock producer and a cow-calf operation, will compete for the national ESAP title with six other regional winners. The national winner will be announced during the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio, TX, in February 2015.
The area where the Nichols both own and rent land is known as Iowa’s Hungry Canyons area, which is identified with deep cut gullies and stream trenching. Over 70% of the farmland managed by the Nichols (some owned, some rented) has been designated as highly erodible. While it’s typical for the area to have row crops grown on nearly 70% of the land, Nichols Farms has 46% of the farmland in row crops, and 54% in grassland and pasture production.
The NCBA says the work by cattlemen and women to protect their natural resources helps to improve the environmental sustainability of the beef industry. Those efforts also help this year’s regional winners improve the land for future cattle producers, a goal shared by each of these operations.