The White House announced in a press release today that it has chosen 12 individuals from across the nation as Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. “The Champions have helped implement agricultural practices that promote soil health and energy efficiency, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” The White House will recognize them on Monday, October 26th at 1:00 p.m. Central Time. The event will be live-streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live/. Among those who will be honored are Nebraska residents: Keith and Brian Berns of Bladen and Martin Kleinschmit of Hartington. Here is what is written about them in the White House Press Release:
Keith Berns and his brother Brian are co-owners and operators of Providence Farms, a 2,000-acre diversified family-farming operation in Bladen, Nebraska and Green Cover Seed, one of the nation’s leading providers of cover-crop information and seed. Green Cover Seed has grown from supplying seed and information for 1,000 acres of cover crops in 2009 to over 500,000 acres in 2015. Green Cover Seed’s “SmartMix Calculator” is the industry standard for planning and designing cover-crop mixes and is used extensively across the country. Keith spends countless hours educating farmers and ranchers about the importance of soil health and carbon sequestration through field days, workshops, and conferences.
Martin Kleinschmit is the owner of an organic farm in Nebraska that produces grains and raises grass-finished cattle on annual and permanent pastures. The farm maintains natural fertility using crop rotation, cover-crop mixtures and animal impact. After recognizing the need for a high-microbial life to foster carbon sequestration, Martin mentored other farmers through a 4-year program that was instrumental in enrolling over 60,000 Nebraska acres in a USDA organic transition program. In his 17 years serving as a staff member for the Center for Rural Affairs, Martin managed and taught projects to inform farmers of the importance of soil carbon. In an effort to conserve the use of fossil fuels, Martin now owns and manages MarLin Wind & Solar, LLC. He currently holds positions on the rural water district board and the Nebraska Farmers Union.
Read about all the honorees here.