Siefkers Named 2023 Conservation Farm Family

siefker family picture

The Will-South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is pleased to announce that the Darrell Siefker farm in Monee Township will receive the SWCD’s 2023 Conservation Farm Family Award.

Darrell and his wife Sue have two children – Sarah and Josh. Sarah and her husband Tyler Walk have a son, Liam, and they reside in Cumberland County, Illinois. Sarah is the County Farm Bureau Manager and helps Tyler with his cash grain and hog operation.

Josh and Amy have three children — Abigail, Wyatt and Emma — and live in Monee Township and work full-time on the farm. Their hope is that one day the next generation will continue the long-standing family tradition.

The Siefker’s farming operation includes cash grain, hay land, pasture and livestock. Livestock have historically been part of the farm operation dating back to mid-1800s when Darrell’s grandfather first came to the area. Like his father before him, Darrell has strong ties to the land, and the farm wouldn’t be the same if the pastures didn’t have the beef herd grazing them.

During the last 35 years, the herd’s feeding schedule has not included any GMO or antibiotics, ensuring their customers with an all-natural product. The Siefkers also recognize the importance of practicing good soil stewardship and their fields are a testament to their efforts.

Recently, they participated in a USDA program with the local NRCS office that resulted in new grass waterways, sediment and erosion control basins and field tile installed at the home farm. Their conservation ethics are key to environmental sustainability, which is apparent after seeing the conservation practices applied to control soil erosion, improve water quality and benefit wildlife on both their farms and rented land.

Their farming operation involves a system of practices that include; no-till farming , crop rotation of corn- soybeans- small grain and hay, nutrient management, contour farming, terraces, water and sediment control basins, grass waterways, pasture planting, livestock waste management, field windbreaks and farm ponds.

Darrell realizes the importance of hard work, appreciates family and farm history and when asked to sum up his feelings about farming he says, “I want to leave the land a better place than when I found it.”

Darrell and his family will be recognized at the Will-South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual Recognition Dinner on August 4, at the district office, 1201 S. Gougar Road, New Lenox.

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