Gary and Karen Wiens are 2013 Banker Award winners chosen by the Marion County Conservation District in recognition of their intensive conservation work to control erosion for ?a lot of uphill all across the property? on 160 acres four miles north of Hillsboro.
Greg Wiens, their son and operator of the land, said their efforts include what is believed to be the first concrete block drop structure built in the county to slow down the speed of water, which was cutting ephemeral gullies across the fields.
Their erosion-control efforts also include 14.3 acres of grass waterways, 34,363 feet of gradient terraces and 783 feet of diversion terraces.
Patience was required in the project, Greg said, because the waterways were planted to grass first, with two years allowed to get the brome established. Then the terraces were added over about another three years.
Rather than planting other cover crops, he said, about half the land usually is in alfalfa to support the family cattle herd.
He also plants wheat, which grazed out by the cattle before moving them to native grass pasture.
Greg also no-tills soybeans and some corn.