Conservation Farmer of the Year

Joel Talsma of Edgerton was selected as the Pipestone County Conservation Farmer of the year for 2016.

Talsma was surprised to learn he had been singled-out by the Pipestone County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), given the company he keeps.

“I’m in a neighborhood where there’s lots of conservation-minded farmers,” he said.

SWCD Conservationist Adam Ossefoort described Talsma as “a young, progressive farmer who has shown us his willingness to try new conservation practices on his farm.”

His involvement in programs through the SWCD and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) showcase this.

“But the biggest reason we selected him is because he applied to be accepted into Minnesota’s new Agriculture Water Quality Certification program and was qualified for the program and accepted into it without making any additional changes to his operation,” Ossefoort said.

Talsma hasn’t always farmed, though. He grew up by Chandler, where his parents farmed. After attending college, he began working for CHS as a grain buyer out of their corporate office in the Twin Cities area. He returned to the southwest Minnesota area to start farming.

Talsma has grown his operation over the past few years. To start with, he bought cows with his brother.

“I was still working full-time for CHS out of Luverne/Brandon S.D. area,” he said.

Over the next few years as he grew his farm adding livestock and acres, he slowly reduced his time at CHS. Last August, he started farming full-time. Talsma now owns 160 acres near Edgerton and rents 160 acres from his dad by Chandler.

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