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Black and white image of farmer with dog in a field


Each year an individual, conservation organization, or others that demonstrate outstanding accomplishments with implementing conservation practices that improve Minnesota's natural resources are recognized in Freeborn County.

The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts with support from The Farmer magazine offers the Outstanding Conservationist Award each year and those recognized are honored during the MASWCD Annual Convention.

Couple standing in prairie


Robert & Darlane Muilenburg

The Freeborn County Soil & Water Conservation District is proud to recognize Robert & Darlane Muilenburg of Hollandale, MN as their 2023 Outstanding Conservationist.


The Muilenburg’s are second generation vegetable farmers and have grown corn, soybeans, sweetcorn, carrots, onions, potatoes, and peas throughout their operation. From years of farming mainly peat soils, Bob understands the importance of keeping soil in its place and has implemented cover crops with his vegetables for over 30 years.

Robert & Darlane on their easement.

Our outstanding conservationists have enrolled in numerous conservation easements, most recently a large CREP Easement which significantly increased floodwater storage adjacent to Geneva Lake. During heavy rain events, water can enter the easement from the adjacent county ditch where it is stored, filtering out sediment and nutrients, before slowly releasing back into the public system. Other conservation work the Muilenburg’s have implemented are water and sediment control structures, waterways, filter-strips, reduced tillage, prescribed burns, brush management, food plots, CRP, and participation in the annual SWCD tree sale. 

Congratulations to Robert & Darlane Muilenburg! 

wetland with open water and ducks flying


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