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Mike Bruer, Ethan Bruer and Sue Bruer stand near one of the windbreaks on the family's farm west of Alberta. The Bruers were honored as the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District's Outstanding Conservationist. Photo courtesy the Stevens County SWCD.

Bruers named Stevens County's Outstanding Conservationists

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The Stevens Soil & Water Conservation District has selected Mike and Sue Bruer as Stevens County's 2008 Outstanding Conservationists.

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Stevens SWCD chose Mike and Sue for this honor because of their efforts to be conservation- minded in their farming practices along with creating wildlife habitat on their CRP land.

Mike started farming in the Alberta area with his dad, LuDean Bruer, in 1993. He is very interested in strip tilling and has 250 acres enrolled in the three-year EQIP program for the conservation practice.

Mike also strip tills an additional 650 acres. With strip tilling he has been able to maximize his yield during the past few years, which have been marked by less rainfall. He feels strip tilling holds the moisture in the soil better than conventional tillage, and it is less labor intense.

Mike and Sue live on a farm just west of Alberta with their children Brittney, Ethan and Kjestina. They have field wind breaks and a living snow fence by the farm site. They say it works well for Minnesota wind and weather.

Mike has a total of 150 acres in CRP, some of which has been in CRP for more than 20 years. Some was enrolled more recently and planted to native grasses and trees.

As part of the Outstanding Conservationist Award, Mike and Sue are invited to attend the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts' 72nd annual convention in St. Paul this winter. Mike and Sue will be guests of the Stevens SWCD staff and board members at the meeting and will be recognized at the awards luncheon to be held at the Crowne Plaza St. Paul Riverfront Hotel on Tuesday Dec. 9.

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