Reed Family Farms | Ryan & Lana Reed

Ryan and Lana Reed received the 2012 Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award. Their farm was one of four across the nation selected for this prestigious award. Recipients demonstrate a firm commitment to safeguarding the environment and their local communities.

The Reeds and their three children (Conner, Kylee Jo and Colt Ryan) manage a 4,800-head feeder-to-finish hog business on the family farm where Ryan was born and raised. They feed roughly 12,000 hogs annually for Cargill Pork. Ryan owns 270 acres of corn and soybean crop ground. He farms 170 acres and rents out the rest.

Q. What water quality practices do you use on your farm? 
A. A buffer strip protects a creek that runs through the land and grass waterways help in the preservation of water quality. Reed Family Farms also uses nitrogen stabilizers, wet/dry feeders, turn strips and a 1,200-tree vegetative buffer to help protect natural resources. N-Zone is used during manure application to not only protect water quality, but also to aid in efficient nutrient utilization. Soil testing also allows for adequate placement of manure nutrients at time of application. This aids in protecting water quality, conserves nutrients and allows for optimum crop performance.

Q. Why did you voluntarily adopt these practices?
A. We have adopted these practices to prevent soil loss so the land is here for the next generation. It also makes sense to use stabilizers.

Q. What, if any, assistance (financial as well as technical) did you receive to employ these practices?
A. Our environmental efforts have been supported by CRP, REAP and the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers’ Green Farmstead Partner Program.

Q. What is your environmental philosophy as it relates to your farming operation?
A. Reed Family Farms’ environmental philosophy is easy: to leave the environment better than I found it. Environmental stewardship and neighbor relations are extremely high priorities for us. We believe that environmental stewardship means not only implementing conservation practices and being conscientious of our surroundings, but also taking the extra step to educate our peers, neighbors and the local community about what we do and why we do it.