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How do you define 'sustainable'?

Look no further than the fields and feedlots of Rock County

A quiet revolution is underway on Rock County’s agricultural landscape that is changing how we grow crops, feed livestock, manage weeds and fertilize the soil.
Progress is occurring at a pace non-ag people wouldn’t notice, but the Star Herald has enjoyed a front row seat to remarkable farming ingenuities over the past several years.
And, thanks to articulate, driven ag leaders in Rock County, we’ve been honored to share the message of sustainable farming practices with our readers.
Oxford defines “sustainable” as “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level” or “able to be upheld or defended.”
Merriam Webster goes further by defining the adjective as “… of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.”
We at the Star Herald are happy to use the word to describe our local ag professionals, and because so much is happening beneath the surface of our fields and pastures, the message has become a constant beating drum.
One headline after another.
This week, as our July 15 edition went to press Tuesday, Rock County livestock producers were hosting the Minnesota State Beef Tour.
As 15 buses and roughly 1,200 people toured our local feedlots, they learned about sustainable ways those cattle are fed and how smart practices in fields and pastures produce more with a smaller carbon footprint.
On the topic of carbon, our headlines this week turn to Rock County’s Cover Crop Field Day.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, we’re seeing less of the rich black dirt we’re known for in this part of the state.
Turns out, tilling up the soil releases carbon and valuable nutrients that are better left undisturbed.
And, it turns out, not tilling up the soil translates directly to extra cash by way of government incentives, carbon credits, and in the long term, healthier cattle and soil and better yields.
Read the cover crop story on Page 1.
It’s just one more headline in our steady drum beat for sustainability … for feeding the world and for continuing a way of life we’ve grown to love in Rock County.

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