Pope Soil and Water Conservation District has selected Jim and Karen Barchenger as this year’s Pope County Outstanding Conservationists. Each year SWCDs across the state select landowners that are great stewards of our soil and water resources, serving as excellent examples in their communities.
They operate a 300-acre Minnesota Department of Agriculture Water Quality Certified farm raising corn, soybeans, wheat, and cover crops. From 1972-2005 they operated a 40 head Holstein dairy milking operation and finished the calves. From 2005-2008 after selling the dairy cows they continued to custom raise calves to finish weights for local dairies. They have implemented: an ag waste storage facility, field borders, shelterbelt, cover crops, reduced tillage, no-till, rock intakes, side inlet structure, woodchip bioreactor, saturated buffer, raingarden, pit closure, and soil health practices. They are active members in the watershed district, township, church, corn growers, serving in leadership roles in most of these organizations. The Barchengers are innovators willing to try new practices, share their knowledge with others, and are great stewards of the land. Congratulations to the Barchengers!