Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Sustainability is a Growing Trend on South Dakota Family Farms

Sustainability is a trending topic among South Dakota farmers and families. Farmers want to take care of the soil and water for future generations, and consumers want to know the food they’re eating is grown and raised with the environment in mind.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Morgan and Jason Kontz are no exception. Jason is the fourth generation in his family to grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa, and raise beef cattle near Colman. Morgan recently added a few free-range chickens to the mix.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Keeping up with the demands of the animals, crops and two young kiddos can be challenging, but they make time to explore new opportunities to enhance sustainability on the farm.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

“We feel very privileged to have a role in growing safe and nutritious food for families. We’re making decisions today we hope translate to better soil and healthier crops and animals so our children have an opportunity to farm in the future,” said Morgan.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

For example, they use no-till for growing all crops. No-till is just like it sounds: not tilling the field after harvest. By leaving plant stalks and roots in the ground, they keep the soil in place and enrich it with organic content and beneficial bugs. Over time, healthier soil translates to nutritious and productive crops.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Another way to improve soil health is through cover crops. These are crops planted before or after harvest that can increase organic matter and fertility, reduce erosion, improve soil structure and limit pest and disease issues. Morgan and Jason are planning to start using cover crops this fall. First, they need to test the soil to determine the right mix for their fields.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Their commitment to doing the right thing for the environment extends to the cattle barn. The deep-pit beef barn safely collects manure from cows in a large pit through grates in the floor. Then they apply the manure to their fields using a tanker truck and a drip line. Precision technology allows them to apply the right amount of fertilizer per crop, per acre.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

According to Morgan, this is a perfect example of sustainability and recycling because they’re using waste to precisely fuel plant productivity.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

“We want to be able to come full circle on our farm. We like that we can apply manure to feed our crops and then we use those crops to feed our cattle,” she explained. “Sustainability is more than a trend on our farm. It’s something we plan to continue growing for the future.”

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Did you know that when it comes to being environmentally friendly, the size of the farm doesn’t matter? Test your knowledge with this blog on the truth behind five sustainability myths.

Morgan + Jason Kontz Family Farm Hungry for Truth sustainability

Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food. 

 

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