Brian Huenink owns Huenink's Seed & Dairy LLC with 180 livestock and 500 acres of a full range of soil types from clay loam and silt loam to muck. A newer member of SPRF, he shares many common goals with the group, including improving soil health, limiting input costs, looking at the long-term view on how farmers care for the land and owning the numbers of farm profitability. He admits he still struggles to have patience when trying something new. Sometimes no-tillage and planting green don't look pretty. He also is continuing to learn how to incorporate dairy manure applications.
A friend of Brian's was reading Gabe Brown's book, From Dirt to Soil, and it really resonated with him. Brian started making the shift to more conservation practices little by little. He bought their first no-till drill 10 years ago but has been fully committed for the past five years. He lives in an area where a lot of neighboring fields drain to his, and the water holding capacity of the soil is extremely important to their farm. He encourages new members to give conservation practices a "full chance", meaning you need multiple years as some years will be good and some bad just like with any type of farming.
Brian had a few surprises when he tried planting soybeans into standing rye, then roller crimped the rye after planting. He was impressed with how clean the stand of soybeans was but was surprised more by how much rye carried over to the next year. He essentially planted into standing rye again the next year with corn. He feels strongly about wanting to leave his land for the next generation – a place where a farm can survive and thrive.