Mark Mueller began farming in 1995 on his farm near Waverly, Iowa. As a fourth-generation caretaker of the land, Mueller recognizes his obligation to protect the soil and water for those that will one day follow in his footsteps.
Mueller’s journey converting his centennial farm to no-till began in 2000, with a complete no-till corn-on-corn operation being implemented by 2010. To supplement his no-till operation, Mueller uses contour buffer strips and grassed waterways. He uses these conservation practices to help preserve the fragile topsoil and help it to stay in place from “increasingly frequent downpours.” A side benefit, he explains, is that less labor and machinery is needed overall.
Mueller is involved in a number of organizations within the community. He is a former President of Iowa State’s Northeast Research Farm Association and the Bremer County Corn and Soybean Association. He is also a Bremer County Farm Bureau Director and a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, serving on its animal ag and environment committee.
Mueller majored in ag business and agronomy at Iowa State University. He and his wife, Jeri, have two kids. They are all active in the farming operation, “especially during rock picking time,” he says.
Building a Culture of Conservation: “We need to be the best stewards possible to protect topsoil and water for those who follow us. Sustainability is an overused word, but, to me, it means the ability to farm another year while leaving the land in better condition with each passing season."
Mueller hosted an Iowa Learning Farms field day in June 2012: