In the latest Ken Burns project, The Dustbowl, the award-winning filmmaker recounts the decade-long drought that decimated Midwestern farms in the early 20th century. In an op-ed to the Des Moines Register, John Hardin, Jr. of Danville, Ind., owner of Hardin Farms, a grain and pork operation located west of Indianapolis, reflects on the stark reminder from the film of the value of conservation programs. Writes Hardin:
Thanks to farm bill conservation programs, we’ve seen vast improvements to farmland health and productivity. Farmers on more than 140 million acres of highly erodible land have implemented practices that reduced soil erosion by 40 percent.
Hardin,a board member of American Farmland Trust, is the sixth generation of his family to farm in Indiana. Read the full op-ed here.