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On an early February day, FLOLO Farms in West Union, Iowa, may appear to be at a standstill, awaiting the bustle of planting season. But while the fields remain frozen and snow-covered, Loran Steinlage’s operation is as active as ever.
Steinlage, a 2020 No-Till Innovator Award recipient, is a networker constantly seeking ways to bring people together for the benefit of the community — and his community extends far beyond his farm neighbors. He and his wife, Brenda, open their home to a host of family, friends and guests looking for his advice.
“The ability to help somebody learn from themselves is probably the biggest attribute I offer,” Steinlage says. “Paying attention to detail, and helping people make the right connections.”
On this particular day, Ohio No-Till Farmer Legend Dave Brandt, a small business owner who uses Steinlage’s corn to make tortillas, a rep from the Iowa Corn Growers Association, plus several of Steinlage’s kids and grandkids, gathered. Throughout the conversations with his guests, the 2023 Conservation Ag Operator Fellow illustrated how he’s thinking beyond the borders of his farm to improve the lives of others and propel agriculture into a new frontier.
NUTRIENT-DENSE CORN. Loran Steinlage scoops up a handful of the Jimmy Red corn he sells to Jonathan Correa, a Madison, Wis., tortilla maker. “It’s about building the group around you and starting to look for younger people,” Steinlage says. “Let’s figure out how we can help them. If the guy wants to give it a try, give…