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Launched in 2022 to mark the start of No-Till Farmer's second 50 years, the annual Conservation Ag Operator Fellowship program follows a selected no-till farmer throughout the year and shares the real-time decision-making and solutions needed to make no-till and conservation ag practices work in real-world conditions.
The 2023 fellowship program, made possible by A&I Products, aims to broaden farmers’ understanding about how to realize economic and sustainability success through no-till and conservation ag by returning to the same farm all year long. No-Till Farmer’s editors and industry advisors selected Loren Steinlage of West Union, Iowa, as this year’s fellow due to his ongoing commitment to innovating on his own farm and going above and beyond to share his no-till knowledge with others. Steinlage is a 2020 No-Till Innovator Award recipient and frequent National No-Tillage Conference (NNTC) speaker.
The content series examines a variety of year-long subjects, including cropping decisions, attachment/equipment purchases, test plots, seeding/planting conditions and on-the-go decisions in response to weather and other variables. The series also features a unique “Ask the Operator” monthly live webinar series, scheduled for the first Friday of every month at 7 a.m. Central, in which viewers may ask Steinlage for advice and questions about the no-till results he’s seen on his own farm. The capstone of the project includes a final report on performance and results, and a featured presentation at the 32nd Annual National No-Tillage Conference in 2024.