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Cover Crop Pilot Proves Great Success - Conservationist Jimmy Emmons Hopes to See Project Grow

Cover Crop Pilot Proves Great Success - Conservationist Jimmy Emmons Hopes to See Project Grow
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently caught up with Jimmy Emmons, president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and a farmer from Leedey, to talk about a pilot project undertaken this past year by Emmons and the member organizations of the Oklahoma Conservation Partnership. You can hear their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
Emmons regularly employs cover crops on his farm to help conserve the soil on his property. This year, Emmons volunteered to sow a few acres this time in a cocktail mix consisting of several vegetables, melons and produce as a cover crop. The idea being to glean the produce as it ripened and donate it to hungry families throughout the state in need. Working with the Oklahoma Conservations Partners, Emmons and the groups involved paired with the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank to launch a pilot project and attempt to determine whether or not such a program would be viable.
“It’s the best program that the partnership of conservation has ever done,” Emmons remarked proudly. “The food bank has a real challenge of getting fresh vegetables out to the people that need it. So, this is a way a producer can help.”
According to Emmons, this year’s pilot proved a great success, though it did come with a learning curve.
“Part of the pilot project was to get all the kinks and snags out of the system,” he said, explaining the work that went into organizing the volunteer labor to glean the produce and the timing and direction involved in that, as the different produce varieties became ripe. “Getting that all coordinated has been a learning curve for all of us, but a successful learning curve.”
With this year under their belts, Emmons and the Conservation Partners feel this program can start to grow and expand to more operations, to hopefully encourage conservation practices, help farmers be more successful and most importantly - help more of those in need.
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