Jerry Cady of Marion was chosen this year as Marion County’s Grass Buffer Award winner for the Banker Award program of the Natural Resources and Conser7vation Services.
Cady, who perhaps is better known as a Farmers Union insurance agent in Marion, is focused on developing his land for wildlife and hunting.
The 80 acres that prompted the award adjoins another 80 acres on which Cady also is installing conservation practices. He said both plots actually are in Dickinson County, two miles south of Herington Lake, but are allowed to be administered through Marion County since he is a resident here.
Cady is credited with including Conservation Reserve Program filter strips, CRP field borders, shrub plantings and food plots. He is adding more grass strips and a CRP shallow water wetland enhancement which has a grass buffer around the water’s edge.
Cady and his children are credited by NRCS with spending a lot of time mowing and doing prescribed burns to enhance and maintain planted native grass buffers.
Cady doesn’t farm, but he is focused on developing his land, both for fish and for food plots for pheasant, quail and deer.
He said it’s a place that will last into the future for his children and grandchildren.
Cady has planted thousands of American plums, choke cherry and fruit trees such as apples and pears. Cady said he has added forbs such as chicory.
He plants milo and alfalfa—not for harvest, but for wildlife food.
“I didn’t buy it to farm, but for wildlife,” he said.