Keith Stamm Recognized for Outstanding Work in Conservation
Congratulations to Keith Stamm, recipient of the 2023 Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outstanding Conservationist Award! Each year, the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), in partnership with the MN Association of SWCDs, recognizes an individual or organization for their outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources. This year, the Isanti SWCD board of supervisors voted unanimously to name Keith Stamm an Outstanding Conservationist in recognition of his proactive efforts in building and promoting Soil Health.
A few of Keith’s great conservation efforts include:
- Being an early adopter of the soil health principles. Keith currently practices four of the five soil health principles on a substantial portion of his property. These principles, nature's blueprint for a healthy ecosystem, include armoring the soil surface, minimizing soil disturbance, maintaining continual live plant cover, and increasing plant diversity. For over a decade, Keith, and his loyal Corgi, have been planting cover crops on their grain fields. Furthermore, they practice no-till farming on a majority of their acres and employ a diverse crop rotation, including corn, soybeans, small grains, and occasional hay and alfalfa. Recently, they have been expanding the acreage where these principles are applied.
- Willing to try new things. Keith isn’t someone to jump into a new practice without research. He approached the SWCD earlier this year expressing interest in trying a variety of cover crop mixtures to provide valuable insights about the most suitable cover crops for the region for fellow farmers. Now, he is researching other cover cropping practices, such as seeding following his soybean rotation and exploring methods to harvest cover crop seeds, thus saving money.
- Demonstrating remarkable community leadership. He graciously offered to host the Isanti SWCD’s 2023 Soil Health Field Day so farmers could learn, inspect his cover crop demonstration plots, and network with each other. Keith also agreed to participate in the SWCD’s Farmer-Led Group to inform local programs.
The Isanti SWCD recognizes the time, effort and money Keith, his wife Sandy, and their beloved Corgi, have invested to improve soil health on the land that has been in the family for over 150 years. Their environmental work benefits more than the land they own, as many of their practices improve water quality. Their work also inspires and informs others to improve soil health.
The Isanti SWCD feels proud to name Keith Stamm as their 2023 outstanding conservationist. The award was presented to him in September at the Soil Health Field Day that was hosted on his farm. Many of his friends and close family were present to congratulate him on his hard work. Keith will also be recognized at the Outstanding Conservationist luncheon held in conjunction with the MN Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) 2023 Annual Convention on Wednesday, December 13th.