John and Lisa Holmquist of rural Dassel have been named Meeker Soil and Water Conservation District's 2018 Outstanding Conservationists.
The Holmquists have placed about 40 acres of their farm, which lies adjacent to Fallon Lake in Collinwood Township, into the Conservation Reserve Program. As part of the project, over 15 acres were restored to wetlands in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They have added well over a thousand trees and shrubs to their property, including plantings for wildlife, field windbreaks, shelterbelts and a living snow fence; and they successfully completed a diverse 2.2 acre pollinator planting.
John and Lisa have owned their fourth generation farm since 1999. John's great-grandfather, Per O. Holmquist, originally settled the property in the 1800s.
The Holmquists actively manage their land through prescribed burns. They control buckthorn and other unwanted species mechanically as well as with their four goats and two donkeys, and they manage 23 wood duck houses on their property.
John and Lisa Holmquist will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts with support from The Farmer magazine at the MASWCD convention to be held in Bloomington, Minnesota, on December 11.
The Holmquists' restored wetland and pollinator plot.