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Protecting farm

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FAMILY FARM: As Rathbun Lake Protectors, Art and Mary Lemley find relaxation
in retirement by working to protect the land on their Century Farm in Appanoose
County. At far left is Mary Lemley standing behind Art, who is seated, along with their
children and grandchildren reasons they care for land and the family farm.
By KATHLEEN CHESTER
F
OR many, retirement signals a long-
awaited chance to slow down and
relax. For Art and Mary Lemley, it
presented the opportunity to return to
Arts boyhood farm in southern Iowa.
After nearly 40 years of serving the Cher-
okee area in the northwest part of the
state Art as a veterinarian and Mary
as a registered nurse the couple de-
cided in 2001 to return to their Century
Farm near Plano in Appanoose County
and begin improving the land.
The 400-acre farm, located in Rathbun
Lake Watershed, was especially important
to the Lemleys as it has been in Arts family
for nearly 150 years and will be eligible to
become a Heritage Farm in 2020.
Mary says they are grateful for good ten-
ants, James and Judy Martin, of Plano, who
took care of the farm while the Lemleys
raised two daughters and one son in north-
west Iowa. The Lemleys three adult chil-
dren now live in Chicago, California and
Waukee, Iowa.
Even though they all live a consid-
erable distance away, they are still very
much farm-oriented, says Mary. And de-
spite the fact they were raised in the other
end of the state, Mary says the home farm
in southern Iowa is important to the kids.
They tell us they plan to keep the farm
going for another 100 years. Two of our
children were even married on the farm.
To protect the land for future genera-
tions and prevent soil from sliding into
Rathbun Lake, the Lemleys installed sedi-
ment control basins and several terraces
as part of the Rathbun Land and Water
Alliances Protect Rathbun Lake Project.
As Art says, You cant farm land if its
in the lake. He adds, The majority of our
farm is highly erodible land and is mostly
hay ground that cannot and really should
not be farmed. They practice modifed
no-till on the 40 acres they do crop.
Quarry of work
An old limestone quarry situated on their
farm, which had been active for 15 years,
needed to be dealt with. We worked to
reclaim the land in the quarry and close
the six to eight large ditches, which can
now be easily mowed over, Art says. If we
wouldve left the old quarry alone, it would
have been a disaster to the farm.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill
Northey says the Iowa Heritage Farms
Program acknowledges the deep roots of
Iowa agriculture and the special bond that
exists between Iowa families and the land
they farm. Receiving this recognition is a
signifcant accomplishment.
Its a great pleasure and distinct honor
to help recognize farm families whove
owned the same farm for 150 years,
Northey says. Its a testament to the
values of land stewardship, hard work, pa-
tience, dedication and perseverance found
in Iowas farm families.
The Lemleys were selected in 2012 as
Rathbun Lake Protectors for Appanoose
County for installing soil-saving practices
that protect the large lake, a water source
for Rathbun Regional Water Association
and the 80,000 people who depend upon it
for their drinking water.
The Lemleys join more than 50 land-
owners in the six southern Iowa counties
of Appanoose, Clarke, Decatur, Monroe,
Lucas and Wayne, who have been rec-
ognized by the Protect Rathbun Lake
Project. The program is in its eighth year
of acknowledging the important conser-
vation work of Rathbun Lake Watershed
landowners. The PRLP staff has worked
with more than 500 landowners who have
installed nearly 550 ponds and more than
1 million feet of terraces since the project
began in 2006.
The Lemleys were also praised for their
conservation accomplishments last year
at the Iowa State Fair, when they received
the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader
Award. The recently established award is
a joint effort of Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Department of
Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and
Iowa Department of Natural Resources to
recognize the exemplary voluntary efforts
and commitment to healthy soils and im-
proved water quality.
Chester writes for RLWA.
Water Rocks! videos earn awards
T
HE Water Rocks! team came home
with 15 awards at the 23rd annual
Iowa Motion Picture Association
award ceremony March 29 in Burlington.
Water Rocks! is a statewide youth edu-
cation campaign to bring awareness about
water and why it rocks. The Water Rocks!
team has produced numerous music
videos, public service announcements
and several documentaries, which explore
all aspects of water resources, including
chemistry, contaminants, conservation
practices, watersheds and more.
At the ceremony, three of the Water
Rocks! videos earned Awards of Excellence
in Educational Production: Will U B the
H 2 My O? and the two series I Am an
Iowan and Whats in Your Water? Also
earning Awards of Excellence are Cover
Crop Anthem for Original Music and Isle
of Plastic for Computer-generated Visual
Effects. Incredible Wetlands earned an
Award of Achievement for Documentary.
Creator behind the film
Water Rocks! campaign director Jacqueline
Comito wears several hats when creating
videos. She is the visionary, talent scout,
lyricist and producer, as well as a vocalist
on the music videos. The entertaining, hu-
morous and effective videos run the gamut
of visual style, including computer-gener-
ated animation, live actors and a mixture
of both.
The key to any good creative work is
to surround yourself with really talented
people, says Comito. I welcome what
each person brings to the table. Different
videographers have different approaches.
For example, in several of the Whats
in Your Water? videos, Comito presented
video producer Andrew Bentler with only a
concept. All we gave Andrew was the idea
that we wanted a series of videos that use
rubber ducks to explain a handful of water
quality issues, and he ran with it. We then
collaborated on the scripts to make certain
they were scientifcally accurate.
Water Rocks! science director Ann
Staudt is an environmental engineer,
pianist and composer. She works with
Jewell resident Todd Stevens to create the
songs. Staudt composed the song Will U
B the H 2 My O? which won the Award of
Achievement for Original Music.
I wanted the song to have a modern,
pop feel that would appeal to todays
youth. The musical style contrasts with the
retro costuming to create visual interest,
says Staudt.
Her love of chemistry was where the
idea emerged. At the heart of chemistry is
the study of how atoms interact and react
with one another. When put in the con-
text of the life of a high school students
interactions, this strange juxtaposition
emerged. The video also won an Award
of Achievement for Direction, which was
done by digital artist Josh LaVille. He is an
Iowa State University graduate and Oregon
resident.
Talented team effort
The flm Incredible Wetlands was written
and directed by Comito. It was flmed in
Iowa and features several Iowans talking
about their experiences and interactions
with wetlands. Staudt composed the music
and plays piano on the video.
Most of our inspiration comes from
time spent outside in Iowa, comments
Comito. Wetlands are incredible places
of beauty and life. I was compelled to make
this video in order to help people appre-
ciate their ecological importance.
Visit the website to learn more and to
watch the videos, www.waterrocks.org.
Follow Water Rocks! on Facebook and
Instagram.
Partners of Water Rocks! are Iowa State
University Extension and Outreach, Iowa
Department of Natural Resources, Leopold
Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU,
the Iowa Water Center and Iowa Learning
Farms.
Source: Iowa Learning Farms
The winners are ...
Music video awards
Will U B the H 2 My O?
Excellence in Educational Production;
Achievement for Original Music;
Achievement for Direction
Cover Crop Anthem
Excellence in Original Music;
Achievement for Computer-generated
Visual Effects
Isle of Plastic
Excellence for Computer-generated
Visual Effects
Series awards
Whats In Your Water? (12
videos)
Achievement in Educational
Production
Awards per episode: The
Shower, Excellence for Editing
and PSA; The Walk, Achievement
for Visual Effects; The Walk (30-
second version), Achievement
for Commercial Under $5,000;
The Movie, Achievement for
Direction; and Tubing,
Achievement for PSA
I Am An Iowan (five videos)
Achievement for Educational
Production
Documentary award
Incredible Wetlands
Achievement for Documentary
Conservation
42
www.FarmProgress.com May 2014 Wallaces Farmer