Dec 09, 2023

Ellis County family honored with conservation awards

Posted Dec 09, 2023 10:30 AM
Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

Stacie Minson
KSU Watershed Specialist

MANHATTAN – Ernie, Steve, and Tom Binder of Ellis County have recently been recognized by two statewide organizations for the family’s exemplary work conserving natural resources on their farm.

The brothers, who own Pleasant View Farms, LLC. received the Kansas State Farm Bureau Natural Resources Award on December 4, at a ceremony in Manhattan. This Award program honors members who use time-honored and cutting-edge conservation practices to protect and improve our state’s natural resources. They also received one of three “Success Story” awards at last month’s Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas. This award, presented to individuals or groups who take extraordinary measures to help ensure the future of the state’s water resources, was presented by the Kansas Water Office.

“These awards are a real testament to the commitment the Binders have made to their land and their community,” said Stacie Minson, watershed extension specialist for K-State Research and Extension. “It’s wonderful that they are being recognized for all their efforts toward natural resource conservation and water quality protection along Big Creek.”

Pleasant View Farms was established in 1946 by Paul Binder, father to Ernie, Steve, and Tom. What started as a dairy and small grain crop farm has grown into a cow-calf operation that showcases efforts for sustainability alongside profitability.

Ernie and Steve Binder with K-State Watershed Specialist, Herschel George, during the installation of one of a tire tank for livestock watering purposes.
Ernie and Steve Binder with K-State Watershed Specialist, Herschel George, during the installation of one of a tire tank for livestock watering purposes.

Stephanie Eckroat, County Coordinator, commented “Ellis County Farm Bureau Association was excited to be able to partner with the KSU Watersheds to showcase the work the Binder Family has worked diligently on in the last several years to improve the Binder’s bottom line and protect our natural resources in Ellis County. It’s the collaboration with local producers and partner agencies that benefits all of agriculture in Kansas.”

Some of the most recent projects the Binders have implemented include installing solar-powered, alternative water supplies for livestock in order to protect water quality in Big Creek. They have added new fencing, relocated feeding sites, and planted buffers in order to completely remove their cattle from Big Creek, which is a main water source for the community. Binders commented after receiving the awards, they still have projects in mind to continue their natural resources work on the farm.

“Big Creek faces impairments from nutrients and bacteria and taking the cattle away from the water will help make a difference for water quality at the farm, but also downstream, while also improving herd health” said Minson.

The Binders regularly welcome the public to visit their operation through field days and demonstrations, and work to educate the community about how best management practices can support a profitable operation while promoting sustainability and good environmental stewardship.