Lubben is named Conservation Farmer of the Year

Dave Lubben of Lubben White Oaks Farms, Monticello, was presented with a plaque for being named Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year. The presentation took place during a field day at the Dave McLees farm near Cascade Aug. 16. From left are Jones SWCD chair Julie Orris, Dave Lubben, vice chair Jeff Von Behren, and commissioner Janine Sulzner. (Photos by Pete Temple)

From left, district conservationist Addie Manternach, Dave Lubben of Monticello, and farm owner Dave McLees listen to a speaker during the Aug. 16 field day.
Pete Temple
Express Sports/Ag Editor

   For conservation practices that he has maintained since 1989, Dave Lubben of Lubben White Oaks Farms, Monticello, received Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year has earned awards from two organizations: the Iowa Farm Bureau, and the Jones Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

   Lubben received the SWCD award during a legislative field day held in Cascade and Monticello Aug. 16.

   “Dave does really great conservation work,” said Addie Manternach, district conservationist with the SWCD. “He does a lot of innovative stuff that hopefully everyone around him catches onto.”

   Julie Orris, chair of the Jones SWCD, agreed: “Denise Schwab (of the Iowa Beef Center) gave us Dave’s name and said she thought he would be a good candidate for Conservation Farmer of the Year. He has some very unique methods of doing things.”

   Lubben has been a believer in management intensive grazing since he read about it in a magazine. He put it into practice in 1989, and has stuck with it ever since.

   “I read an article 30 years ago and we started playing with it,” Lubben said during the field day. “We move the cows on a daily basis.”

   Among other benefits, the practice gives each pasture area a rest period.

   “By giving that rest period, we see lots of natural propagation of grasses and legumes, so that’s been a positive for us,” Lubben said. “We also notice the condition of the cows gets better because they’re on fresh grass every day.”

   Other conservation efforts implemented by Lubben include conservation tillage, no-till soybeans, and seeding winter rye.

   “We’re really moving toward cover crops,” Lubben said. “We’re seeing some pretty neat weed control on that, and (it helps with) erosion. When I get a two-inch or three-inch rain in the spring, I’m really tickled that I’ve got a cover crop down.”

   For winning the Farm Bureau award, Lubben will receive free use of a John Deere 6E Series utility tractor for up to 12 months or 200 hours of use.

   (Editor’s note: This article includes information from an article that was published at



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