United Soybean Board Promotes Sustainability on the Farm

United Soybean Board Promotes Sustainability on the Farm

Soybean seedlings Soybean seedlings

July 18, 2016

Sustainability is rapidly becoming an agricultural buzz word, but it's also an important strategic priority.

While the techniques and technologies associated with sustainability are ever-changing, the overarching goal remains constant. As Iowa farmer Kellie Blair explains, “The goal of sustainability on our farm is to farm indefinitely. Every year we work to be a little bit better at being good stewards of the land. We work to be better at growing good crops and healthy and safe livestock.” She also adds that they are experimenting with various techniques, such as strip tillage and cover crops, across their farm.

Blair sums up the importance of emphasizing sustainability, “We have a lot to learn, but we know as farmers that we have an impact on the environment, and it's our responsibility to take care of that. This is our job – this is our livelihood – and we want to make sure that we’re doing the best that we can.”

Tom Oswald, a fourth generation farmer also from Iowa, explained his approach to sustainability as, “It’s a case of adapting practices for what works on your farm.” Sometimes steps toward sustainability, such as implementing cover crops, may not show results overnight and may not work for everyone, but that is okay. “Ideas can be universal,” he says, but he goes on to insist that particular adaptations of those ideas are governed by local factors. 

Take a look at how farmers are putting the principles of sustainability into practice and get ideas for implementing some of these techniques on your own farm by visiting unitedsoybean.org.

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