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Family honored for conservation efforts

WORTHINGTON -- In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Conservation Reserve Program, Jerry and Terese Perkins and their daughter, Julie Perkins-Lopez, were honored by the Nobles County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Tuesday morning.

The Perkinses, of Worthington, were among the first families in Nobles County to enroll land in the conservation program 20 years ago -- land that remains, for the most part, in CRP today. In all, the Perkins family has nearly 100 acres of Elk Township land enrolled in CRP.

County Farm Service Agencies across the state are finding ways to honor land owners who have implemented conservation practices on ground considered marginal for crop production. In Nobles County, FSA executive director Ron McCarvel said the main reason for taking land out of production and entering it in a conservation program like CRP is to improve water quality.

Right now, Nobles County has nearly 8,900 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, according to program technician Clyde Scheevel. That's just 2 percent of all land in the county.

McCarvel said each county can enroll up to 25 percent of its land in CRP, and Nobles County continues to work with producers to get more land enrolled in conservation efforts.

"There's a lot of acres along streams, lakes and filter strips that are not in, and we pursue those each year a little more," McCarvel said.

For the efforts of the Perkins family, members of the Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation District Board presented the trio with a plaque.

"This was unexpected. Thank you very much," said Jerry Perkins. "(CRP) works for us."

"We think it's a good program ... for minimizing runoff," added Terese, his wife.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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