Monday, June 13, 2011

Tour the Showcase Barley Farm

This time of year, the Conservancy's "field season" is in full swing, and our staff are at working hard at various projects around the state. It's also the time of year when you have plenty of opportunities to see what's happening at Conservancy projects.

It's a busy month, and we'll be sharing opportunities here. To get things started, you can now sign up for a tour of the showcase barley farm at Silver Creek, owned by John and Elizabeth Stevenson.

The tour is Thursday, June 23 and also include Ernie's Organics near Shoshone.

The tour is free and includes lunch at Silver Creek Preserve.

The showcase barley farm, funded by Miller-Coors, demonstrates conservation practices including retrofitting irrigation pivots to save water (up to 400,000 gallons per two-day irrigation cycle), establishing stream buffers and improving streamside habitat.

The farm is owned by John and Elizabeth Stevenson, who have been active conservationists in the Silver Creek Valley for decades. Twenty-eight years ago, they donated the first conservation easement in the Silver Creek watershed. Since then, 21 other landowners have donated easements, protecting nearly the entire valley from development. The tour will allow attendees to see the latest conservation methods that enhance wildlife habitat while keeping their barley and alfalfa farm productive.

The tour will also visit Ernie’s Organics, an organic farm owned by Fred and Judy Brossy of Shoshone. The Brossys have also protected their farm with a conservation easement through the Wood River Land Trust. They are well known for their conservation practices and land ethic.

Event details: The tour will last from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23. A bus will leave from Twin Falls at 9 a.m. The tour visits Ernie’s Organics followed by the Stevenson Family Farm.

To register: Email Marsh Holt-Kingsley at or phone Gwendolyn Ellen at (541) 737-6272.

Event sponsors: Oregon State University, National Center for Appropriate Technology, Portland Metro, The Nature Conservancy, the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center, USDA Western Region IPM Center Functional Agro-Biodiversity Work Group, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

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