Conservation, productivity go together
Even as agriculture becomes increasingly competitive, farmers must focus on conservation as well as production.
Fortunately, those twin goals can be mutually supportive, Ballew Farms on Boonesboro Road is proof of that.
On March 21, Lonzo and Taffy Ballew of Ballew Farms were honored by the Madison County Conservation District as Outstanding Conservators of the Year.
Lonzo and his brother Leroy are the third generation of the Ballew family to work the farm now near Interstate 75 Exit 95.
While farming is a family tradition, the Ballews are innovators, according to Brandon Sears, Madison County Cooperative Extension Agent for Agriculture.
They are always looking to increase crop diversity, try new marketing methods and apply the most up-to-date production techniques, Sears said.
The Ballews also are conscientious about learning and employing best practices for conservation as recommended by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said Lisa Smith of the Madison County NRCS office.