All indications from Washington, D.C., are that conservation provisions will continue to be a hallmark of the next farm bill. There's little doubt that the intensity of conservation efforts will continue for all farmers, driven to a large extent by what happens inside the Beltway.

Early on, the American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized this stewardship movement and now should get a pat on the back for launching the Conservation Legacy Awards back in 2001.

It's hard to believe that this marks the fifth year ASA will begin accepting applications for the awards. Actually, nominations are due by Friday, Oct. 7, 2005.

The Conservation Legacy Awards is a national program designed to recognize the outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of U.S. soybean farmers.

The program recognizes four regional producers for their stewardship efforts. From those four — Western, Southern, Midwestern and Northeastern — a national winner is chosen. Any ASA member who actively farms is eligible to enter.

Applications are evaluated on:

  • Cropland management practices, such as no-till, strip-till, etc.

  • Farmstead protection.

  • Conservation and environmental management.

If you're interested in being recognized for your conservation efforts or know someone that should be singled out, contact ASA at 800-688-7692 or download the application form from www.soygrowers.com.

And if you're chosen as a regional winner, pack your bags. You and a spouse/guest will receive an expense-paid trip to Commodity Classic in Anaheim, CA, March 2-4, 2006, where the overall winner will be named at the annual ASA awards banquet. Sponsors of the program are ASA, The Corn And Soybean Digest and Monsanto.

Remember, you won't win if you don't enter.

Good luck.

EDITOR glamp@primediabusiness.com