On Tuesday, Warren County Conservation District staff and board members gathered to recognize Hem-View Farm as the 2019 Conservation Farmer of the Year.
(Photo: Directors of the Warren County Conservation District Board present the 2019 Conservation Farm of the Year award to members of the Johnson family of Hem-View Farm. Pictured left to right are David Miller, Barry Van Ord, Colter Johnson, Melinda Johnson, Paige Johnson, David Trimpey, and Larry Upton.)
A picture was presented to three members of the Johnson Family who were in attendance. The Johnson family has been farming on Hem-View Farm on Frantz Road in Glade Township for over 100 years. Dean Johnson’s grandfather, Chase, and his great-grandmother Ina purchased the farm on October 31, 1912 and started farming in 1913.
For the first 15 years or so, Hem-View was a subsistence farm, growing vegetables in a large garden and raising cows, pigs and chickens. The Johnson family added dairy farming to their operation around 1928 and shipped cream to the Warren County Dairy.
By the 1980s the farm was in its third generation when Dean and his new wife Melinda were milking about 85 head of Registered Holsteins. Over time the farm’s direction has changed, focusing now on crops and raising beef.
While they have not milked cows on the farm since 2003, the fourth generation of Johnsons continues farming the Hem-View. Colter Johnson and his wife Paige moved back to the farm in 2015.
The farm currently consists of a total of 400 acres with 160 acres being farmland and an additional 160 acres of leased farmland. The Johnson’s now raise a small herd of beef cattle which are direct marketed to the consumer. They grow all their own feed for the cattle as well as a large amount of dry hay which is sold to other small farms or as mulch hay to the oil and gas industry.
With the development of a written Manure Management Plan in 2014, the Johnsons are able to utilize on farm nutrients efficiently to grow their crops. A typical year would consist of 20 acres of field corn, 20 acres of oats, 10 acres of food plots and the remaining farmland acreage being grass hay for either pasture or harvest of dry hay.
Not only have the Johnsons used conservation practices on their land but they have also shared that passion along with their passion for farming with others. Dean Johnson was a Farmer Director of the Warren County Conservation District for 37 years. As a former 4-H leader, Dean helped to shape the lives of several members.
Melinda, a current 4-H leader, continues to share their passion for farming and good quality dairy cattle with young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about farming or show dairy cattle. All three of Dean and Melinda’s sons participated successfully in the Warren County Envirothon.
Awards were also presented to Heather Cass for the 2019 Conservation Educator of the Year at Tidioute Community Charter School (TCCS) on September 1st, and Vinnie Marold for the 2019 Forest Landowner of the Year Award at the Conservation District office on September 22nd.