Leedey, OK

Jimmy is a long time resident of Leedey, OK. He and his wife Ginger have one son, Beau. He is the third generation on the family farm and attends the Church of Christ in Leedey. Jimmy has been farming since 1980 and have a diverse operation, including wheat, irrigated dairy alfalfa hay, wheat-canola rotation, and a cow-calf operation.

Jimmy has been monitoring soil health with soil testing since 2012 utilizing cover crops to enhance soil health.

Farming nearly 2,000 acres in Dewey County, Jimmy is sharing what he’s learned about soil health on his farm through workshops, field days and test plots. “I want my neighbors, my friends, other board members to be able to come and to learn a little bit about what we are doing. A lot of people think it’s just dirt — that all we have to do is put a little water and some nutrients on it,” he says.

“I really think we have got to get them to understand that the health of our soil is like the health of our bodies. If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, you can go on and on and we still function but we don’t function at our full capacity. It’s the same way with soil. If it’s not healthy, it may be functioning and growing a crop — but not to its full capability.”

As a board member of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, he’s committed to improving the soil resources on his land and hopes others will follow suit — not just for the sake of the resources, but also for the sake of their farming operations. But like others who now farm using soil health management systems to improve the health and function of their soil, Jimmy has also learned from others.

“My ‘ah-ha moment’ of getting into soil health was when a producer from Indiana showed photos and figures of his plots at a national conservation meeting. He wasn’t buying any fertilizer for his cash crop and he not only improved production, but lowered the cost of production,” he says. “It was like ‘Ah-ha, now we’re talking. If he can do it there, why can’t we do it here?’ And so that is when we got started here.”