Overcoming Barriers to Conservation
There was a shift from snow to small bits of corn stalk pieces in northern Ohio this harvest season. There has also been a shift of agricultural land. Over the next 20 years, about 371 million acres of farmland are expected to change hands as farmers retire or leave their land to the next generation. Lesley Riker, a wife, mother, and now farmer is an example of that shift.
Lesley has always been involved in agriculture: 4-H committee leader, FSA board, and more. She shared this involvement with her daughters who participated in their local 4-H club and who dedicate their successful careers to the leadership skills they learned in 4-H.
Lesley never imagined being a full-time farmer—until four years ago her husband fell incredibly ill with multiple sclerosis. “The biggest challenge was myself,” Lesley recalls, “I didn’t have enough knowledge or skills to address issues such as farm equipment maintenance or the right time of planting. These are skills you can only gain over time and by working directly in the field.”