Propelled By Purpose

Nick Guilette demonstrates sustainable practices to Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. ( NRCS )

America’s Conservation Ag Movement is a broad national effort to help farmers, ranchers and growers continue their journey to conserve our shared natural resources and promote sustainable food production.

Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Nick Guilette views helping farmers adopt conservation practices to improve soil, water and air quality as a journey, with progress as the year-to-year goal.

For his dedication to conservation and farmer service, Guilette was honored with the 2019 Certified Crop Adviser Conservationist of the Year Award by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  

“The organization works with certified crop advisers at the local level, sharing science-based technologies that make a conservation impact on our natural resources to build productive lands and healthy ecosystems,” says Diane Gelburd, NRCS deputy chief for science and technology. “It is great to see Nick getting positive results from planting green, which is no-till planting primary crops into actively growing cover crops, one of many soil-health practices.”

Guilette describes farmers as the “ultimate problem solvers and solution finders.” No-till and cover crops are two of his go-to practices when helping farmers take their initial steps.

The impact of weather extremes in Wisconsin during the 2019 production season is a case in point. Farmers there, like others across the U.S., had the wettest production season that many could remember. Those with corn planted to no-till found they could get into fields faster than those using conventional tillage.

“Think about how much additional money farmers spent in some of the conventional fields this past year in fuel alone,” he says.

Granted, not every farmer is ready to adopt no-till, so Guilette looks for how he can help them take small steps forward. In some cases, it’s as simple as helping farmers understand how they can modify existing equipment such as planter setup and down pressure.

Regardless of what conservation practices a farmer decides to try or adopt, Guilette believes one of his core responsibilities is to continually offer ideas and recommendations that can help them in practical ways.

“As CCAs, service providers and retailers, we can help our customers find value in conservation,” he says. “Most farmers don’t expect us to have all the answers. They want us to help them do a better job.”

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