CCSP Board Information

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Grant Petersen

Grant Petersen: Chairman

Grant represents Dickey (James River SCD) County in North Dakota.

I farm west of Ellendale ND with my Father. We operate on the original farm my Mother’s Father started. Our operation is diversified to make better use of our varying soil types and landscape. Our crop production includes corn soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, and recently barley as well as confection sunflowers. We also have a cow calf operation in which we finish the calves at our home feedlot. I began farming in 1999 and was full time post college in 2002.

Educational experiences:   I graduated from SDSU in 2002. Besides farming I am involved in the James River Soil Conservation Board and Dickey County Farm Bureau.  My hobbies are entertainment with my wife and two children.

Conservation Practices:    We currently use no-till and reduced tillage systems. We are bringing more diversity into our rotation, use fertilizer banding, spit nitrogen application, cover crops, and rotational grazing.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP: My operation goals are to increase the efficiency and sustainability of our farm. I believe the practices and direction we are going with today help us improve our soil health and achieve these goals. CCSP’s research in all of these areas is valuable information that helps me improve my operation and incorporate these principles.

Joe Breker

Joe Breker

Joe Breker: Vice Chairman

Joe represents Sargent County (Wild Rice SCD) in North Dakota.

I am farming a 4th Generation farm. My Dad talked about the 1930’s “He was a teenager during the worst years.” He was very aware of the productivity lose because of the severe erosion but didn’t always have the ability to manage erosion throughout his career. Growing up during the 60’s and 70’s I grew weary of doing multiple tillage operations only to see my Dad’s disappointment to the destructive nature erosion had on our farms resources.

Educational experiences and hobbies: I attended NDSU 2.5 years before coming home to farm. I took a mix of ag production classes. My hobbies include outdoor sports and time on boards for conservation.

Conservation Practices: No-till for 35 years, strip till for 24 years. Cover crops for 14 years. No-till machinery rental for 34 years.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP: I would like to see more adoption of conservation practices. I would like to use CCSP as a spring board to new concepts. We have several examples of new ideas coming out of CCSP already.Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP: My operation goals are to increase the efficiency and sustainability of our farm. I believe the practices and direction we are going with today help us improve our soil health and achieve these goals. CCSP’s research in all of these areas is valuable information that helps me improve my operation and incorporate these principles.

Gerald Bosse

Gerald Bosse

Gerald Bosse: Treasurer

Gerry is a representative from Sargent County (Wild Rice SCD) in North Dakota.

I have been farming 45 years. I farm in partnership with my wife Diana, son Mathew and his wife Casey and my hope is my son and his wife can take over the farm.

Educational experiences and hobbies:  I went 4 years to NDSU, spent 2 years in the Army. We had Beef and a hog confinement for most of my life. We raise mostly corn and soybeans and present time.

Conservation Practices: We use no-till, minimum till, and conventional on our farm. CCSP has exposed me to more beneficial practices through no-till. I have a variance in soils so certain practices do not work everywhere.  Challenges arise with soil types and excess moisture. CCSP practices and farming techniques have help us learn rotation that profitable.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP: CCSP has been very helpful for me to keep up with the new technology in no-till and learn about conservation practices that will be beneficial to my farm. In farming things and practices are changing constantly. I strive to leave my farm more productive and in better shape than the day I took over. Take pride in your farm and farming practices.

Joel Erickson

Joel Erickson

Joel Erickson: Past Chairman

Joel is a representative from Marshall County in South Dakota.

Our Main Farm was homesteaded by my great grandfather. I started farming in 1981 with my Dad and Brother. Dad has since retired. Today we raise corn, wheat, soybeans and alfalfa along with a cow calf and feedlot operation.

Educational experiences and hobbies:   AA degree in Ag Business from NDSSS. Currently South Dakota Wheat Growers board member.

Conservation Practices:   My Dad and Brother started implementing minimum tillage practices in the 1970’s. In 1992 we converted to no-till and strip till in 1995. In 2009 we were honored to receive the “Conservation Farm Award” from Marshall County. We have also been using cover crops behind our wheat crop for a number of years to improve our soil health and provide fall grazing for the cows.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   Continue to promote conservation practices and implementing some or most of them on our own farm. My goal is to leave the farm to my daughter or son in better condition than when I stated.

Jesse Frolek

Jesse Frolek

Jesse Frolek:

Jesse is a representative from Richland County in North Dakota.

I Currently Farm with my father John and my brother Aaron north of Lidgerwood. I have been farming for 25 years.

 

Educational experiences and hobbies:   I attended NDSU and SDSU. I am actively involved in the community and enjoy fishing, gardening, and sporting events in my free time.

 

Conservation Practices:   I have practiced 100% no-till the longevity of my farming career.

 

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   Future plans are to implement better water management practices through tiling and cover crop introduction.

Jennifer Klostreich

Jennifer Klostreich

Jennifer Klostreich:

Jennifer is a representative from Richland County in North Dakota.

I grew up on a 4th generation family farm near Hankinson ND. We grew small grain, corn, beans and cattle.

Educational experiences and hobbies:  I attended NDSCS but did not finish the degree. I have worked for the Richland Soil Conservation District since 1999. 1999 -2005 I held position of District Technician. 2005-current I have been the EPA 319 watershed coordinator. I enjoy gardening, yard work and spending time with family.

 

Conservation Practices:   I have promoted conservation practices thru the field office.

 

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   I use the CCSP farm to do experimentation projects with the rotation, tillage, soil health to help take risk out for producers.

Marty Visto

Marty Visto

Marty Visto: Past Chairman

Marty is a representative from Dickey County in North Dakota.

I have been farming 30 years since the age of 15 with my brother Michael and father Marshall. Our farm was established in the 1940s by my grandfather John Visto. I am looking forward to the forth generation!

Educational experiences and hobbies:   I am an NDSU graduate in General Agriculture and minor in Computer Science. Emphasis in agronomy, soils and fertility. I started no-till in 1999 and precision fertility placement and timing in 2001. I began biological driven farming practices in 2001. I am involved in Crop Improvement Association, and ND Farm Bureau.

 

Conservation Practices: Future is in the concept and understanding of Biological Farming where we feed the soil and the soil feeds the plant and then the plant continues to feed the soil.

 

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   Continue to learn and implement practices to biological farming. Grow in our understanding that the plant signals the rhizosphere as to the fertility needs of the plant. Communication network exists between the plant and the microbiology of the rhizosphere.

Mark Wyum

Mark Wyum

Mark Wyum: Past Chairman

Mark is a representative from Sargent County (Wild Rice SCD) in North Dakota.

I Farm with 2 brother and 2 of our sons.

Educational experiences and hobbies:   I went to 1 2/3 years at NDSU and took Ag Economics. 

Conservation Practices: We no-till corn and beans.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:  I want to keep working on no-till practices that are sustainable.

Kent Carpenter

Kent Carpenter

Kent Carpenter:

Kent is a representative from Sargent County (Wild Rice SCD) in North Dakota.

I started farming after graduation from NDSU in 1970 with a partnership arrangement with my father. We had a varied operation with early and late crops, hogs and cattle on 1000 acres. The operation has grown to 3000 acres no-till.

Educational experiences and hobbies:   I have a BS in Ag from NDSU, am a member of North Dakota Street Rod Association, active in the local car club, and enjoy shotgun competition sports. I have been a Wild Rice Soil Conservation District Director for 17 years, and also a volunteer fireman.

Conservation Practices: I have practiced no-till on all soybean acres the last 15 years and strip till the last 7 years on most all corn acres. I have used cell grazing on pasture acres that are rented to neighbors.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:  Slow down and enjoy what we have worked for!

Patrick Freeberg

Patrick Freeberg

Pat Freeberg:

Pat is a representative from Ransom County SCD in North Dakota.

I grew up on the family farm. I have been farming since 1986 on my own land. I partnered with my father from 1986 to 2009 when he retired.

Educational experiences and hobbies:   I have a BS in Agronomy from NDSU, crop consulting since 1979, scouting for 4 years. I worked 3 years as an agronomist for Centrol. Have been a self-employed crop consultant since 1986. Growing up on a diverse farm was a good education in itself.

Conservation Practices:   I have practiced no-till, conservation tillage, used cover crops and crop rotation.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   Continue to support CCSP as a conduit to provide information and confidence as growers switch from conventional tillage systems to a no-till system.

Eric Mairs

Eric Mairs

Eric Mairs:

Eric is a representative from Ransom County SCD in North Dakota.

I farm south of Lisbon ND with my Father and Cousin. I have always helped on the farm but started farming my own ground in 2004. I farm about 4,000 acres total. My wife Katie and I have 3 kids, Tucker-7, Carly-5 and Griffin-3.

 

Educational experiences and hobbies:    I graduated from Lisbon high School in 1997, then went to college at NDSU for Crop and Weed Science and Agri-Business degree.

Conservation Practices:    I use cover crops, crop rotation, and vertical tillage vs. conventional tillage. I have noticed residual nitrogen effect of cover crops the following year in the crop (corn). This I have noticed soil testing following the crop following a cover crop. I also band P & K nutrients rather than broadcasting.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:    I would like to incorporate more conservation tillage and strip till and also like to add more winter wheat back into the rotation. I would like to see more young farmers attending the field day and observe the practices on the CCSP farm.

Bill Simonson

Bill Simonson

Bill Simonson:

Bill is a representative from Day County SCD in South Dakota.

I have farmed full time since 2000, but got my start in the early 90’s. I farm with my dad, mom and wife. We are the 5th generation on a farm homesteaded 127 years ago by my dad’s great grandfather.

Educational experiences and hobbies:    I graduate from SDSU in 2000 with an Ag degree. I enjoy hunting and fishing and family activities with my kids and wife.

Conservation Practices:    We have been using no-till and minimum till for 27 years. We have been using strip tillage for about 14 years.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   I hope to eventually bring the next generation to farm our farm. We also hope to continue improving our soil and farming techniques. My hopes for CCSP would be to further influence people using tillage to see the benefits of using no-till and minimum till. I hope for CCSP’s continued success.

Steven Dvorak

Steven Dvorak

Steven Dvorak:

Steve is an adviser from Ducks unlimited in North Dakota specializing in Winter Wheat.

I grew up on a small dairy farm in south east South Dakota, but no family members are on the farm today. I have a wife Tamie, 3 boys, 1 daughter  and 3 grandchildren.

Educational experiences and hobbies:    I graduated from high school at Geddes SD, graduate from SDSU a BS in Agronomy. I worked for Pioneer Hi-Bred both as Agronomist and District Sales Manager, an Agronomist for Syngenta (NK), sales rep for TJ Technologies, sales rep for Philom Bios (now Novozymes), sales rep for Pulse USA, and currently Field Agronomist for DU.

Conservation Practices:   I promote and advise on winter wheat, cover crops, no till, and crop rotations.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   2 million acres of winter wheat in ND!

Kelly Cooper

Kelly Cooper

Kelly Cooper:

Kelly is the Farm Manager at CCSP.

I grew up on an 800 acre farm and ranch near Brampton in North Dakota which my wife and I now own. My parents were adults in the 1930’s living on what they called “blow sand” that eroded horribly in the Great Depression. I grew up hearing the horror stories of dirt blowing every day, no feed for the cattle, and living conditions that would make most of us shudder. I also heard how people worked together and recovered the land by planting trees. How sad they could have not had the technology to farm without using tillage.

Educational experiences and hobbies:    I graduated from high school at Sargent Central in Forman ND. I went 4 years to NDSU getting a BS in Soils. My wife Sharon and I moved back home where I farmed with Dad and started a soil testing lab and sampling business. I later added crop scouting and consulting working mostly with specialty crops including potatoes and onions. When the acrylamide scare hit the potato industry, acres were dramatically reduced so I decided I would retain a part of my old business but venture into soil conservation and found myself at CCSP. My hobbies include rock hunting and working on my farm.

Conservation Practices:   Everything at CCSP.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   Developing a real time measurement for soil erosion. Maybe then we could work to reverse soil erosion by showing people the damage that is going on. I would also like to see the development of a “Terra Preta” like soil amendment that could actually restore damaged soil and be done economically. But realistically we need to promote and assist farmers to use methods that are proven to save the soil we already have.

Melissa Blawat

Melissa Blawat

Melissa Blawat:

Melissa is the Agriculture Extension Agent in Sargent County and CCSP Board Adviser.

I grew up on a farm in Viking, MN where my family raises wheat, soybeans, corn, sunflowers, and alfalfa, along with cattle.

Educational experiences and hobbies:   I graduated from the University of Minnesota Crookston with a B.S. in Agriculture Business.  I started working as an Agriculture Extension Agent in Sargent County in June 2012.  My hobbies are enjoying the outdoors, playing sports, and spending time with my family.

Conservation Practices:   I have been working with the NDSU Extension Soil Health Team in promoting soil health and conservation practices to the producers in Sargent County.

Goals I see for myself and family relating to my farm and CCSP:   I would like to promote and increase the awareness of soil health in Sargent County through workshops and demonstrations and also support the research and work being done on the CCSP Farm.