Flickner Innovation Farm
Flickners win Leopold Conservation Award
Ray and Susan Flickner received the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award at the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting in Wichita on November 20. The award recognizes those who inspire others through their extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.
Winners receive $10,000 and a crystal award.
This recognition was given to the family for their strong conservation ethic on their farmland in Dickinson, Hodgeman, McPherson and Norton Counties. They carefully manage their farm using conservation tillage, a variety of water-saving irrigation technologies, cover crops, nutrient management, wildlife and pollinator habitat restoration, and more.
“We were blessed with this land, and with these resources,” said Ray Flickner. “We see our role as making sure that we leave everything better than how we found it.”
The Leopold Conservation Award, named for wildlife ecologist and author Aldo Leopold, is presented annually to farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners in 28 states who showcase conservation practices such as improving soil health, water resources and wildlife habitat on their lands. In Kansas, it is presented by the Sand County Federation, in partnership with the American Farmland Trust, the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, and the Ranchland Trust of Kansas.
The Flickners are the 9th landowners to receive the award in Kansas.
Ongoing projects at the Flickner Innovation Farm will help fine-tune existing irrigation, soil-health and other agricultural technologies while exploring ways that new innovations can improve soil health and conserve water on Kansas farmland. We hope to harvest the advantages of new technology and current research with our comprehensive team of experienced growers, agronomists, watershed specialists, university researchers and industry specialists.
Together, we hope to extend the reach of standard agricultural practices while improving yields and preserving natural resources.
The Flickner Farm, located in Moundridge, Kansas, has a long history reaching back to the 1870s. Ray Flickner is the 5th generation to farm this land, which now consists of more than 850 acres with 10 individual water rights. The Flickner Farm uses sub-surface drip irrigation (SSDI) and precision mobile drip irrigation (PMDI) to grow corn, wheat and soybeans; many of the fields are no-till or limited strip till, and soil conservation techniques continue to be implemented. The family's commitment to improved soil health and sustainable water use makes the Flickner Farm a perfect location for testing new technologies and innovative solutions for these issues.