Wisconsin soil conservationist Adam Abel wins national award

Wisconsin State Farmer

LOUISVILLE, KY – Adam Abel, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Appleton Area Soil Conservationist, received the NRCS Pastureland Conservationist of the Year Award. The honor was presented at the annual American Forage and Grassland Conference in Louisville, KY, Jan. 16, 2018.

Charles Kneuper, Acting National Range Management Specialist (left) and Angela Biggs, Wisconsin NRCS State Conservationist present NRCS soil conservationist Adam Abel, the NRCS Pastureland Conservationist of the Year Award.

This award recognizes an NRCS employee for their exceptional education and outreach to promote sustainable grazing practices. Abel has exemplified outstanding service to the agency, its clients and the science of grazing land management.

He is a central Wisconsin native who grew up on a dairy and beef farm. For the past nine years, he has been providing grazing lands technical assistance as a major part of his soil conservationist duties in northeast Wisconsin. Abel received his recognition for excelling in five categories (1) communication, (2) training, (3) partnerships, (4) conservation application, and (5) job complexity.

Abel gives countless presentations on managed grazing to Wisconsin farmers, landowners, partners, employees, teachers, tribes, historically underserved groups, conservation groups and the general public. Presentations include benefits, design, layout and implementation of grazing systems.

He regularly presents at grazing field days and conferences on topics such as heifer grazing, pasture design, fencing, livestock water and trails.

“The very first time I saw Adam give a presentation, his enthusiasm was clear; his passion for working with local graziers in Wisconsin is making a difference on their operations and subsequently our natural resources,” said Angela Biggs, Wisconsin State Conservationist. 

Abel has also organized and led many pasture walks, been instrumental in many partnership efforts including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Lower Fox Demonstration Farms Network.

Abel also actively promotes soil health practices on cropland, including cover crops, hay rotations and no-till. Northeast Wisconsin has one of the highest concentrations of dairy cattle in the U.S. and Abel is up to the challenge of working with diary producers to plant cover crops and graze them effectively with heifers.