Friday, December 19, 2014

Adams’ effort works to improve land to keep farm in the family

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 1/20/2014

PRINCETON — Conserving the land isn’t just a hobby for the Adams family; it’s a necessity to keep the farm running and in the family for future generations.

The Adams family ­— Gene and his wife, Ople, and Shane and his wife, Mandi — are the recipients of one of the Franklin County Conservation District’s Bankers Award for Soil Conservation for their work to save the top soil on their land with the installation of waterways and terraces. The family will be recognized noon Thursday at Celebration Hall on the Franklin County Fairgrounds, 17th and Elm streets.

PRINCETON — Conserving the land isn’t just a hobby for the Adams family; it’s a necessity to keep the farm running and in the family for future generations.

The Adams family ­— Gene and his wife, Ople, and Shane and his wife, Mandi — are the recipients of one of the Franklin County Conservation District’s Bankers Award for Soil Conservation for their work to save the top soil on their land with the installation of waterways and terraces. The family will be recognized noon Thursday at Celebration Hall on the Franklin County Fairgrounds, 17th and Elm streets.

Gene Adams, 80, has been farming for 64 years, and his son Shane Adams, 40, has been farming for 22. Both own farms with their wives in separate locations. Shane said it is important to conserve the soil on the land the family owns, but it seems there is something new for conservation every year.

“It’s never ending what you got to do every year,” Shane Adams said. “We try to keep up with everything, because you don’t make any money when the good soil is down the ditch or in the drain. It needs to be on the field.”

The family installed the terraces and waterways on their land to allow the water to flow off the land, saving the soil from erosion. Shane Adams said if the waterways weren’t installed, the topsoil would flow off into a creek. The family also is working on building ponds and using conservation to improve them.

“We try to improve,” he said. “We’re trying to build ponds and fence them up.”

The land Shane Adams owns has been in the family for five generations and could go on longer with Shane and Mandi Adams’ toddler, Meredith. Ople Adams said the family conserves the land for future generations, but also because farmers aren’t the only ones who own the land.

“We wanted it better for Shane than what we had, and I’m sure he wants it better for his daughter when he’s too old to do this,” she said. “You keep improving because God gave this to us. We’re just here for a short time managing it.”

The family’s main production includes cattle, corn, soybeans and wheat. Shane Adams said he’s seen farms that have fallen behind on the conservation efforts and have had trouble recovering.

“You want to do something every year,” Shane said, “because if you don’t, I’ve seen farms that haven’t done anything to it and it just takes too much to get them back in shape.”

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