Cardinal Farms Recognized as Environmental Farm Leader

Craig Fleishman farms in rural Minburn, Dallas County, raising corn, soybeans and some oats and hay. He calls his century farm “halfway between conventional and organic.”

Soil conservation has been a passion of his for 40 years when he began managing the family farm. Craig started experimenting with ridge-till in 1981 and began no-tilling in 1985. He also uses strip-cropping and has installed grassed waterways, filter strips, and a wetland.

Craig is a member of the Iowa Soybean and Iowa Corn Growers Associations, Dallas County Farm Bureau, Practical Farmers of Iowa and several conservation societies. He has also worked with Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA), taking water samples in the Des Moines River watershed.

Being a farmer partner with ILF takes Craig back to his childhood when an elementary teacher spoke to the class after a severe dust storm about the dangers and costs of soil erosion. He said that the teacher’s words “stuck with me and I have been interested in conservation since.”

Craig and his wife, Deb, have two daughters. When he isn’t farming, Craig can be found outdoors hiking, biking, canoeing. He also enjoys National Public Radio and Iowa Public Television.

Building a Culture of Conservation: “Soil conservation is extremely important to the security of this nation. We need to learn to grow food without sacrificing our soul resource.”

In 2012, the Fleishman family received the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award
for their conservation practices in place in their farm.