Continuing a Conservation Legacy: Casey Sieren - Washington County

Casey Sieren is a 4th Generation Farmer in Washington County, Iowa. Growing up he helped on the family farm where he learned what it means to be a good steward of the land. Their operation consisted of row crop, cattle, and custom feeding hogs. “My father was one of the first in the area to implement a no-till planting system, before I was born, back in the early 80s”. Along with no-till there are many other conservation practices implemented on his father’s farm such as terracing, waterways, contouring farming, and crop rotation. In the last twelve years they have added cover crops into the system as well.

Sieren graduated from Iowa State University in the spring of 2016. That same spring he purchased his first piece of land which happens to lay in the West Fork Crooked Creek (WFCC) Watershed, which is part of a Water Quality Initiative (WQI) project. Being a beginning farmer means you have limited funds, “Once I bought the farm I knew it was going to need some work. I interned with local NRCS office one summer and learned that they have some really good cost share programs for beginning famers and provide technical assistance.”

Sieren has been working with the WFCC WQI and NRCS to help develop a whole farm conservation plan in recent months. This fall he plans to put in 19 water and sediment control basins, a waterway, and 73 acres of cover crops on his farm. “My short-term goal is to stop soil erosion with the cover crop, terraces, and the waterway. My long-term goal is to improve my soil health with no-till planting and cover crops.” One day Sieren hopes to implement CRP filter strips into his operation not only to help with sediment runoff but to increase wildlife habitat on the farm as well.

Will Myers