A steward is a person who is in charge of the management of something and is given the responsibility to protect it. Farmers are called stewards of the land, because of the close connection that they have with the land. Their livelihood and way of living depends on their ability to use the land. Therefore it is in the farmers’ best interest to help protect the land because they rely on it.
Also part of being a good land steward is to improve the environment, through many different farming practices. Farmers are doing their best to be stewards of the land through conservation, preservation and moderation of use of resources.
Farmers engage in many different conservation practices that help preserve the environment. It means using less resources and having less of an effect on the land, like no-till, putting fences around streams, planting cover crops, collecting water runoff, integrating crop and pasture rotations and other.
Preservation helps to keep things the way they are, to keep them for future generations and also improve their quality. Farmers can practice preservation in a way to take out the land of agricultural production. This land is then left to grow naturally without any type of crop being planted on it. The purpose is to allow land to build up soil, increase productivity and decrease topsoil erosion. By protecting these areas, wildlife such as birds are able to populate an area and increase the diversity. In these fields, native species of plants can also establish themselves.
Using less resources and developing new ideas of how to manage the resources on a farm has become one way for farmers to help protect the land. Farmers are also using moderation when it comes to putting nutrients on the land. Putting too much pesticide, insecticide and fertilizer on a field does not help the crops and also can harm the environment. New methods of application have been developed for farmers to decrease their impact on the land.
Good stewardship is important for everyone, including smallscale farmers. Using best management practices you can protect the environment, improve the health and well-being of animals and plants and increase your farm’s profits. By adopting management practices suited to it, you can protect your investments as well as the environment.
Good environmental stewardship means using land, plants and animals in a way that protects and improves the environment. Environmental stewardship begins by evaluating your farm to identify likely pollution sources and their possible effect on the surrounding environment.
Source: Animal Smart