ILF farmer partner Arlo Van Diest hopes to leave the soil on his farm in better shape for the next generation. To do this, he converted to strip-till in 2001 and has continued using it ever since. Van Diest grows corn and soybeans on his farm located near Webster City in Hamilton County.
Van Diest advocates for strip-till farming and has helped to convert other farmers to the same system. Since he began farming 50 years ago, he has added waterways, buffer strips, and bioreactors to his list of conservation practices being used on his land.
Van Diest and his wife, Claudia, have two grown daughters and six grandchildren. His participation with the Iowa Soybean Association is something that he says works well with his farming operation. He is also involved in his local church, the NRCS, the Nature Conservancy and school sporting events.
Van Diest has help ILF in several ways: he has hosted two field days on his farm and serves as one of the experts on the ILF strip-till "how-to" video. You can watch the video on YouTube.
The Van Diests were one of the families to receive the first annual Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award, presented by Gov. Branstad at the Iowa State Fair in 2012.
Arlo was featured on the NRCS Conservation Showcase in May of 2011. You can read his story here.