Agriculture and Natural Resources, Institute of (IANR)


Date of this Version



Delivered September 22, 2003.


We begin our Master Conservationist recognition in Production Agriculture with the Buskirk Family of Hemingford in the Panhandle. Will David and Toni Buskirk, Dean and Sonya Buskirk, Chad Buskirk, and Dustin and Shelly McConville, please come forward? They started with a half-section which has grown to 2,855 acres, as well as a tree-planting business. The family formed a partnership in 1995 and named it “Trees are Us” in 1998. They have used no-till farming on 1,000 acres of cropland since 1980 and planted over 165,000 trees. A low-pressure irrigation system saves about 400 acre inches of water every growing season. They built their own no-till tree planter for differing soil conditions and a machine to install biodegradable weed barriers. Their enthusiasm for trees is contagious as they visit with others and perform volunteer work in the area. Their unique tree planting equipment is made available nationwide, which results in the planting of more than 2 million trees in over 10 states annually. Congrats to the Buskirks.

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