The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) announces three winners for the first offering of the Core 4 Conservation Awards. These awards recognize producers who implement a system of conservation practices that not only protects or improves natural resources, but also enhances farm profitability. Winners will receive the awards Feb. 5 at the National Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting in Sparks, NV.

Core 4 Conservation is a national agricultural conservation awareness campaign that promotes using a "systems approach" to addressing economic and environmental concerns in agriculture. This innovative approach to ag management results in better soil, cleaner water, greater profits and brighter future. CTIC coordinates the national campaign to increase adoption of Core 4 Conservation systems.

Ken Remington, dryland, no-till farmer of Central Washington County, CO, won first place. Remington has developed a comprehensive system of conservation practices for his 1,000 acres. He uses a three-crop/four-year rotation of wheat-corn-millet-fallow. Rotating crops, using no-till, and applying appropriate herbicides allow Remington to control weeds effectively.

The second place award is shared by two operations. Brothers Curt, Greg and Dan Swartzmiller are recognized for their Diamond S Farms in Attica, OH. The Swartzmillers know that 20 years of no-till has helped increase water infiltration and reduce runoff on their family farm. Cover crops and crop rotation, which have increased organic matter by 3%, along with nutrient and pest management, also are part of their winning system.

Mike and Richard Long of Berlin, ND, also win second place. The Long brothers integrate a small grain and row crop farm with pasture, hayland and a beef feedlot with a containment system. The Longs produce all the feed needed to produce and market their beef cattle, which graze on 230 acres of pasture converted from cropland.

The Core 4 Conservation Awards are sponsored by Syngenta, Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc. (CAPS), IMC Global, CTIC and the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).

For more information about the Core 4 Conservation Awards, contact CTIC, a nonprofit public-private partnership working to promote soil and water quality and equip agriculture with affordable, integrated management solutions. Call 765-494-9555 or go to www.ctic.purdue.edu.