MOWER COUNTY, Minn. (KTTC) – Brownsdale resident Steve Garbisch and his family are doing their part to give back to nature and their Mower County community. The Garbisch family is converting approximately 75 acres of their cropland into permanent conservation.
“Our family has had that farm since 1934. I am ready to retire in a few years and no one to carry on the farm tradition so we thought this would be a great way to return something back,” said Garbisch.
This conversion gives Mower County its first enrollment through the MN CREP program, a voluntary state-federal program designed to improve water quality and wildlife habitat through permanent conservation.
Garbish says there is work to do on the farmland such as addressing erosion issues, helping a neighbor find an outlet for their running tiles and restoring the land to its original water holding characteristics.
“By doing this program we now stop the erosion. The wildlife benefits with the deer, the turkey population that we have, that’s only going to increase.” Said Garbisch.
The Mower Soil & Water Conservation District says this is the second CREP enrollment for the Garbisch family, who used a previous CREP round to enroll a majority of their “east 80” acreage across the road from this new conservation land in Red Rock Township.
“We are into nature, We enjoy wildlife and hunting and we thought this was a super way to give something back.” Said Garbisch.
Landowners accepted into MN CREP enroll in the federal USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for 14 to 15 years. At the same time, the land is put into a permanent conservation easement through the state’s Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM) program.