Banker Award: Off the farm, but in sync with the goals


Carolyn and Mike Kleiber have been advocates for conservation on family-owned land.

Mike Kleiber, owner of Ag Service at Hillsboro, is in a unique position to see the various conservation practices used on the farms his company services throughout Marion County.

One thing he is sure of, he said: Conservation works not only for the sake of water quality and preserving soil, but also for staying in a profitable situation.

That?s why he and his wife, Carolyn, try to use the best practices possible on family land they manage?although Kleiber said he isn?t a farmer himself.

As a winner of a soil conservation Banker Award this year, he credits much of the inspiration and work to Duane Kaiser, tenant on his and Carolyn?s farm, and Edwin Klenda, tenant on the farm of his mother, Lorene Kleiber.

Other than the structures the award credits him with, Kleiber said his work makes him a convinced advocate of what he calls residue management on the land for profits, plus soil and water protection.

Kleiber said he considers no-till just one form of several good forms of cover management that fit individual situations. For instance, strip tillage can be a valuable tool to leave crop residues on the land to protect it, he said.

Kleiber?s award credits the family with building 5.5 acres of waterways, 18,747 feet of terraces, two structures, and maintaining 121.7 acres of grass in the Conservation Reserve Program.

Kleiber used the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program for brush control on grassland.

The award credits him for being the manager and inspiration for his mother to start and complete a waterway and terrace system on her land.

?He is now in the planning stage for more erosion control and wildlife habitat on more land that he co-owns and manages,? according to the Soil Conservation Services office.

Kleiber said: ?Good soil conservation helps. It definitely does a lot for the good of the soil.?

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