Farmers make big decisions in the face of COVID-19


As US farmers hit planting season, WQAD8 reporter Eleano Tabone interviews Iowa farmers, including Global Farmer Network member Mark Heckman in this April 27, 2020 piece. Watch here; highlights are below.

WEST LIBERTY, Iowa – Spring is planting season and farmers across the region say they aren’t letting the current health pandemic stop them. America’s grain producers’ remain optimistic.

Crops still need to be planted and people still need to eat.

According to the USDA, 94 million acres of corn and 85 million acres of soybeans will planted across the nation this year. The fourth largest amount since 1990.

Mark Heckman

Mark Heckman

Farming in West Liberty, Iowa, Mark Heckman volunteers as a board member for the Global Farmer Network and is currently serving on the Animal Ag and Environment Committee for Iowa Corn, and as Advisor for the US Grains Council. He and his family partnership farm about 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans with a focus on soil health. The family farm also includes pork and cattle production. Heckman Farms uses technology that supports the sustainable use of hog and cattle manure while maintaining water quality standards and good relationships with his neighbors.

Mark is focused on improving sustainable production of food, feed, and fuel, and off-the-farm is a Senior Regulatory Consultant for EcoEngineers of Des Moines, Iowa. Mark is a past member of the Soil Health Partnership and has dedicated much of his career assisting producers and companies focus on specialty markets and renewable fuels. He also has expertise in Strategic Risk Management, Commodity and Energy Procurement, Policy Development, and Raw Material Exposure Coverage.

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