Ray and Susan Flickner of Wichita have been selected as the recipients of this year’s Kansas Leopold Conservation Award. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes those who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife resources in their care. In Kansas, the $10,000 award is presented annually by the Sand County Foundation, American Farmland Trust, Kansas Association of Conservation Districts and Ranchland Trust of Kansas.
The Flickner family farms in Dickinson, Hodgeman, McPherson and Norton counties. Water and soil conservation has long been a priority. So much so, Ray and Susan created what now is known as Flickner Innovation Farm in McPherson County, where more than a dozen university, industry and agency partners explore new methods to improve soil health and conserve water. Modern irrigation technology tested at the farm helps make good use of every drop of water in a drought-prone region. Crop yields also have improved due to this technology and the grid soil sampling the Flickners conduct every four years. The sampling shows where to apply nutrients and lime at varying rates to adjust the soil’s pH level. Cover crops are grown to suppress weeds and improve soil health.
The Leopold Conservation Award in Kansas is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, Ranchland Trust of Kansas, Sand County Foundation, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, ITC Great Plains, Kansas Department of Agriculture (Division of Conservation), Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Kansas Forest Service, Green Cover Seed, McDonald’s, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service and a Kansas Leopold Conservation Award recipient.