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Troy Seaworth grew up on the family farm, more than 1,000 acres of irrigated cropland north of Wellington. The farm produces beets, corn, dry beans, hay, and some wheat and alfalfa. When the time came for college, Seaworth headed to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, where he studied agronomy and crop science, earning a degree in 1997.
Back home farming with his dad, Richard, Seaworth began to put to use much of what he’d learned in school. Technology was having an important effect on farming and the younger Seaworth saw the handwriting on the wall. “I could see that making use of the GPS was going to be big.”
Fortunately his dad was adaptable and accepting of the new ideas Seaworth brought to their farming operation. And Seaworth was committed to introducing others to the techniques that made farming more sustainable, efficient and profitable.
Because of his continuing efforts he recently received an Environmental Stewardship award from Larimer County.
Seaworth has switched from conventional moldboard plowing to strip tillage for 95 percent of his crops.
“We were one of the first farms in the area to change our methods,” Seaworth said. “Now there are five or six local farms that have made the switch. Strip tilling plows the land just where a seed is to be planted and leaves crop residue on the surrounding soil surface,” Seaworth said. Strip tilling helps to retain water and reduces erosion. The practice also reduces the amount of fuel, irrigation water, nutrients and pesticides needed.
Center-pivot technology combined with GPS, soil mapping and the use of soil monitors for precise irrigation control all contribute to efficiency on the Seaworth farm. The Seaworths also have farming operations in Nebraska where they employ state-of-the-art technologies.
Seaworth has been a leader, not only in implementing efficiency and conservation practices, he’s been willing to give his time and share his expertise with others. He serves on the Conservation Board of Larimer County and the Dry Bean Board.
He has participated in field days to demonstrate and discuss his operation with other farmers, United States Department of Agriculture officials, growers associations, tillage manufacturers and land grant university extension agents and researchers.
His selection to receive an environmental stewardship award recognizes Seaworth’s commitment to land stewardship, technical know-how and willingness to share his expertise. “I believe it is important to keep adapting to new technology,” Seaworth said.
Other recipients of the Environmental Stewardship Award for 2013 are: Sarah Bayer for leadership on the High Park Fire Recovery project; Gallegos Sanitation for “Gallegos Sustainable Innovations” in the area of solid waste management; James B. Shaklee, a leader on the Poudre Wildlife Volunteers weed crew; and Richard Eversole for his long-term efforts at forest and wildlife habitat improvement.