The American Soybean Association (ASA) presented Nancy Kavazanjian, from Beaver Dam, Wis., with the 2020 National Conservation Legacy Award during the annual ASA Awards Banquet in February.
Kavazanjian and her husband Charles Hammer, a fourth-generation farmer, grow corn, soybeans and wheat. For the past 40 years, they have worked to implement innovative technologies and farming methods that protect their farmland while growing the highest-quality food and feed possible.
Kavazanjian and Hammer are firmly rooted in their motto, “Our soil, our strength,” a guiding principal planted at the beginning. “While the way we work to protect and improve our soils has evolved over the years, our resolve to uphold that motto has never wavered,” Kavazanjian said. “It’s more important than ever today to realize our soil is what makes really good agriculture.”
Kavazanjian also established a pollinator habitat on the gravel-covered knolls to provide an atmosphere that supports native bees, butterflies, birds and wildlife. She is currently working with a university to pilot and proof a phosphorus-reduction system that could potentially have major benefits for lakes, farms and watersheds across the nation.
To stay abreast of emerging technologies, Kavazanjian attends industry meetings, reads industry information and networks with other farmers and researchers — connecting both in person and online. “We’re all part of the problem, and we all need to be part of the solution,” she said.
The Conservation Legacy Awards program is a national program designed to recognize the outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of soybean farmers, which help to produce more sustainable U.S. soybeans. Along with ASA, the program is co-sponsored by BASF, Bayer, the United Soybean Board/Our Soy Checkoff and Valent.
Along with Nancy Kavazanjian, who also won the Upper Midwest Regional 2020 National Conservation Legacy Award, there were three other national nominees representing their region as 2020 Conservation Legacy Award winners:
- Susan and Mike Brocksmith of Vincennes, Indiana, represent the Northeast for their relentless work at becoming better stewards, better farmers and better food suppliers.
- Frank Howey from Monroe, N.C., in the South region, is a pioneer who plants narrow-row corn and soybeans to preserve spring moisture and control weeds.
- Randy and Nicole Small of Neodesha, Kansas, in the Midwest region, sixth-generation farmers who have been exclusively continuous no-till since 1999.
For videos of each of the regional winners’ operations visit ASA.