Mike Ehrlich of Marion will be presented a water quality award from Marion County Conservation District at its annual banquet Feb. 25.
The award is an extension of one he received two years ago for trees and grass he established along Clear Creek where it runs through his property north of Marion.
Mike and his brother Gary inherited the farm, which their grandfather established in 1920. Gary works out of state but comes back to the farm often, making improvements such as cutting unwanted trees.
Mike visited the Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Marion during the drought of 2018 and learned that multiple cost-share conservation efforts were available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
He started by putting a well, solar pump, and tank in his pasture and implementing prescribed grazing. Next, he did a timber stand improvement project and went on to learn about nutrient management and construct waterways and diversions.
Mike and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 35 years and have two children and three grandchildren. Mike has been farming for 43 years. He raises corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. He has a cowherd and manages a pasture north of Florence with rotational grazing and burning.
He also provides hoof-trimming services to livestock owners. He recently worked 250 cows at an Amish dairy west of Hutchinson.
The award he won in 2018 was for planting 1,500 trees and shrubs along a creek to stabilize the bank and prevent it from eroding.
“Conservation is an important practice,” he said. “The more you can do the better.”