ILF farmer partner Jon Gisleson runs a century farm in rural Floyd, Iowa, growing corn and soybeans. He has been a no-tiller/strip-tiller for over 20 years and is proud of it. But it wasn’t an easy transition.
“Change isn’t easy, especially when it looks different, feels different, and the neighbors are looking at you thinking you’ve gone off the deep end,” said Jon. “It’s hard to be different. But you have to believe it’s going to work; put some faith in it and do it right.”
Jon practices no-till and strip-till, and has installed terraces, waterways, riparian buffers and has land in CRP. He added cover crops in 2012.
“There is a comfort in doing what you’ve always done or doing what your dad did,” said Jon. “But you can make a no-till system work anywhere. You have to be willing to do it right and be patient. You can work the soil, and work it and work it, trying to get a decent seed bed, and with no-till, you just wait for the right day--a huge difference.”
Jon is also a Floyd County Soil and Water District commissioner and an alternate regional director for Conservation Districts of Iowa. He is a former Osage school board member, serving the school district for 12 years. He and his wife, Ardi, have a son and two daughters. Jon likes to bike, cook and fish in his spare time.
Building a Culture of Conservation: "We all need to do a better job of conserving. In town or on the farm, if we all do one thing better, it's a start."
Read Gisleson's feature, Floyd Farmer Hates Erosion, by Dick Tremain of the NRCS.