Michael Crowder, general manager of Barker Ranch, is one of six NACD Soil Health Champions from Washington state. In addition to serving on the Benton Conservation District’s board (his local district) and as a state leader for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts, Michael serves as NACD’s second vice president.
(Michael is pictured here, at far left, with his fellow NACD officers for 2017-2019. Between Secretary-Treasurer Kim LaFleur and President Brent Van Dyke is Lee McDaniel, NACD’s immediate past president. To the far right is Tim Palmer, first vice president.)
Situated along the Yakima River, Barker Ranch receives an average of six to eight inches of rain annually. The majority of the ranch is enrolled in the NRCS Wetland Reserve Program, and its primary goal is to ensure year-round habitat for migratory waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes. To this end, Michael uses both wetland and upland vegetation management for wildlife habitat, incorporating cattle to manage vegetation and no-till farming practices in wildlife food plots.
To read more about Michael Crowder and his operation, check out his profile online. If you or someone you know is a leader in soil health and would like to become a member of this growing, progressive network, please contact NACD North Central Region Representative Beth Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-946-4463 for more information.