Schmett presented Otto J. Bauer award

Dustin Schmett, left, Alex Hohl, Tim Robinette and Brenda Sermersheim.

The Dubois County Soil and Water Conservation District presented an annual award to a Dubois County farmer who uses good soil and water conservation practices on his farm and puts extra effort into conserving natural resources.

During the SWCD’s annual meeting on Feb. 5 held at Venue 1408 in Huntingburg, Dustin Schmett was presented the 2019 Otto J. Bauer Outstanding Conservation Farmer of the Year Award. Presenters were Tim Robinette, senior vice president of Commercial Lending from Old National Bank; Alex Hohl, direct sales manager for Beck’s Hybrids; and Brenda Sermersheim, agriculture lender from German American Bank.

The award is named in memory of Otto J. Bauer. Bauer was a champion of soil and water conservation efforts in Dubois County and a member of the SWCD board of supervisors from 1969 to 1986.

A lifelong farmer, Schmett began farming with his father, the late Mike Schmett, and now partners with his mother, Linda Schmett. Schmett farms 1,700 acres in both Pike and Dubois. Schmett raises wheat, corn and soybeans.

Schmett lives a strong conservation ethic and has put time and effort into his farm management practices over many years. Conservation practices he utilizes include cover crops, grade stabilization structures, water and sediment control basins, waterways, no-till, nutrient and pest management, underground outlets and subsurface drains. He has Conservation Reserve Program acres and has also utilized the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to carry out his stewardship plans.

Over the years, he has utilized less tillage and more no-till practices. He recently started using more true cover crops, which he believes holds the soil in place and he sees less erosion. These practices also have built soil structure and helped to improved water quality. He reads articles and talks with other farmers to learn more about the latest trends in farming and is open to try new conservation practices. He hopes to be able to pass the farm to one of his three children.

Schmett is a member of the Huntingburg Kiwanis and believes success is getting through tough agricultural times. He enjoys seeing the progress of his work from his own hands.

Beck’s Hybrid will be covering the expense to send Schmett to the next National No-Till Conference in Indianapolis.

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