Love for land burns bright for Johnsons
Dean Adkins - Fri, 15 Mar 2013 17:13:33 CDT
(Bethesda)--For Stanley and Barbara Johnson of rural Bethesda, loving the land means ensuring everything they do gives back to the land that ultimately gives so much to all of us.
The Johnsons, married in 1968, raised three daughters, Clarisa, Angela and Laura and they enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren. Stanley is a 1964 graduate of Clarinda High School while Barbara is a 1965 Red Oak grad.
The Johnsons have a passion for stewardship of resources which leads them to volunteer. Barbara has been Page County Soil & Water District Commissioner for 16 years and has taken on another 4-year term. She's been on the Conservation District of Iowa State Board for 8 years. Stanley and Barbara are also deeply involved in Page County Pheasants Forever, amongst other organizations.
Former teachers, they were raised to respect and care for the resources God has given them and they do their best to enhance where and when they can through their many acres devoted solely to the efforts of conservation practices.
They've learned the value of planting prairie grasses; blue stem, switch grass and Indian grasses sway in the breeze amongst hundreds of trees planted over the years on steeper slopes. Brush piles create habitat while yearly controlled burns keep the prairie grasses healthy while discouraging weeds and unwanted shrubs and trees. Food plots of corn and radishes bring in deer and wild turkey while pheasants are making a comeback in habitat that encourages their survival.
The Johnsons also oversee much tile and terrace work that helps keep the soil in place while diverting water flow in a manner that cuts down on soil erosion.
They consider their farm nontraditional and that's just the way they like it. They also like sharing their story with others, as friends, family and area students have enjoyed the learning experience of spending time at the Johnson farm.
If you'd like to visit with Stanley and Barbara about their conservation practices, feel free to give them a call at 712-586-4544. If you'd like to see some of the beauty that's been created through an abundance of hard work and passion, check out their video below!