Soil Conservation began in 1942 for Peabody Man


Lee and Arlene Rempel have built on a soil conservation program that began in 1942 with Lee?s father, Ernest. ?You have to keep maintaining (the conservation works you build)? Lee said.

Lee and Arlene Rempel have been awarded the Continuation Award by the Marion County Soil Conservation District for their farm southwest of Peabody in a conservation program that began with Lee?s father, Ernest, in 1942.

Lee said that when he left military service in 1946, he came home to join Ernest on the 160-acre family farm.

He took over the farm completely in 1949 when Ernest had a heart attack.

He added two more quarter-sections to the operation over the years.

The conservation work began where a previous farmer had terraces plowed over to close them up. It seemed to Rempel that every time he bought land, he had to rebuild or correct earlier conservation work.

He continued to rebuild terraces and waterways, and add new ones to control erosion. He also planted Conservation Reserve Program borders and field strips to native grass.

?You have to keep maintaining them (the conservation works you build),? Rempel said. ?You plow with terraces, and build them up at the correct angle.

?We put a few terraces in last year, and we?ll put some in this year. Then I think we?re pretty well completed.

?A couple of years ago we put in a pit pond, 10 feet deep and about 30 by 30 feet, with one outlet. You build them in the bed of a smaller stream instead of with a dam and spillway in a draw like a traditional pond.

?It?s never run dry. We had two feet of water in it right away after it was built from water seeping out of the shale rock.

?I put some fingerling channel cats, and I thought they?ll just run out when the pond is full. But I caught a small one and my grandson, Justin, got a good sized one when we went fishing. So, I guess they?ve done OK.?

Rempel retired from farming the land himself in 1991. He feels fortunate that he got a good local tenant, Martin Nellans, to keep all of the practices in good working order for when rains come.

His son, David, and David?s wife, Jody, kept the pasture to operate, and they run a crossbred cowherd of approximately 27 or 28 head running with an Angus bull, Lee said.

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