Cantonwine surfaces as River-Friendly Farmer

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Jeff Cantonwine

A Putnam County farmer is among 59 River-Friendly Farmers being honored in a ceremony coinciding with Farmers' Day at the 2014 Indiana State Fair.

Jeff Cantonwine of rural Greencastle and 58 other designated River-Friendly Farmers will be recognized Wednesday Aug. 13 by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) for the work they do to protect Indiana's natural resources.

Farmers representing counties from around the state will be honored at 1 p.m. in the 4-H Exhibit Hall Auditorium at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Presenting the awards will be Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney, Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock, State Conservationist Jane Hardisty and IASWCD President Jeff Meinders.

The River-Friendly Farmers were selected for the award by their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) based upon their management practices which help keep rivers, lakes and streams clean.

Cantonwine's grain farm is almost 100 percent no-till, SWCD officials pointed out. He has 10 acres of field borders, as well as waterways and filter strips in central Putnam County.

As a result of Cantonwine's efforts, it was noted, fish population of desired species has increased in nearby Big Walnut Creek and Snyder Branch.

Other area Hoosiers named 2014 River-Friendly Farmers include Alan and Jim Stevenson of Clay County, Joe Seward and Dan Spurr of Parke County and David Hardin of Hendricks County.

The Stevensons produce corn, soybeans and hay on their Clay County farm. No-tilling not only has made their soil more productive, it has almost eliminated sheet erosion on their farm. With the addition of cover crops, the Stevensons see very little soil leaving their farm.

Seward Family Farms operators Seward and Spurr run a grain and cattle operation in the Middle Wabash and Little Vermillion watersheds, using strip-tillage, no-till and cover crops.

Seward and Spurr rotate pastures every two weeks, and have implemented heavy use pads and watering areas. They have also created a quail habitat and put in buffer strips near a neighbor's pond.

Meanwhile, Harden's Hendricks County farm includes corn and soybeans, as well as a 600-sow farrow-to-finish hog operation.

Hardin incorporates no-till and minimum tillage, cover crops, grass waterways and filter strips, while manure from the hog operation is injected to minimize soil disturbance.

The River-Friendly Farmer award is sponsored by the IASWCD, the 92 local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Indiana Farm Bureau Inc.

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