First generation farmer Mike Deahr began farming in the 1980s. They became conservationists shortly after that. “When we first moved to the farm, I bought a couple of cows. At that time the local municipality wasn’t doing a good job of keeping the water free of human sewage. One of my cows died in the creek. I became a conservationist because of that.”
The Deahrs have a hog operation of 2,800 head and farm approximately 1,000 acres of row crops.
Mike serves on the Iowa Pork Board, the Muscatine Soil and Water Commission and the county zoning board.
Building a Culture of Conservation: The couple has traveled to Washington D.C. and Des Moines to lobby for conservation.
“The Iowa Learning Farm is a good interface of soil and water conservation. I want to show that I am a good steward of the land, and to show how livestock fertilizer can lead to a minimal use and eventually, no use of chemical fertilizer.”
“I am not a tree hugger. I am a practical environmentalist. We can’t correct all the sins that man has created in my lifetime. If they want to do it too fast, they will kill our way of life.”
Mike stands next to a wetland he constructed for nitrogen reduction in conjunction with his hog operation.