Indiana’s Conservation Farmers of the Year are Hoosier farmers who actively incorporate and practice conservation on the land. The award is sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau Inc. and Indiana Prairie Farmer in cooperation with the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.


Kurt Voelkel, Dubois County, owns Green Acre Farms in Otwell, Indiana. Kurt has farmed hundreds of acres for decades using diverse conservation practices. He knows the importance of soil health and works hard to keep his soil loss at a minimum. He states, “Loss of one inch of topsoil takes a lifetime to get back.” By utilizing conservation practices such as grassed waterways, grade stabilization structures, ponds and Water and Sediment Control Basins, he has reduced water runoff on his land.

With 30+ years of no-till and the use of cover crops for over 20 years, Kurt has been able to reduce his input costs of fuel, fertilizer, as well as chemical and equipment requirements. He knows his soil health has improved because his production per acre has greatly increased. The soil structure on his land has also improved making it more resilient to compaction.

He farms over 600 acres on a corn and soybean rotation with no-till and cover crops. A little over 77 acres include a pond, farmstead and coal mind ground being returned to production.

Kurt has also implemented a Wildlife Habitat with a two-acre food plot for over 20 years.

Congratulations to Kurt Voelkel for receiving the IASWCD 2017 Conservation Farmer of the Year Award.