SCRANTON, Iowa — Robbins Land & Cattle, of Scranton, Iowa, is among one of six regional honorees of the Environmental Stewardship Award Program, organized by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Justin and Lacie Robbins, owners of Robbins Land & Cattle, LLC, received Region III honors at the 2022 Cattle Industry Convention, in Houston, Texas.
The Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) annually recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers. Regional winners are commended for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitats while operating profitable cattle operations. Robbins Land & Cattle, LLC received the Region III ESAP award for the following efforts:
Robbins Land & Cattle, LLC, which runs along the North Raccoon River, is committed to improving the land and natural resources. For nearly two decades, Justin Robbins has dedicated a lot of time and energy to enhancing his farming operation. From rebuilding and implementing farm ponds on pasture ground to establishing cover crops on a large portion of his row crop acres, Justin strives to “leave the land better today” than how he found it yesterday.
For instance, Justin Robbins first incorporated cover crops in 2013. He primarily seeded cover crops on harvested corn acres, but now works to establish cover crops on at least 50 percent of his farming operation. “Building soil health is the long game,” Justin says. Cover crops benefit soil structures in generating nitrogen, reducing erosion, supporting earthworms, and suppressing weeds. Additionally, cover crops provide another forage source. In utilizing cover crops and other corn residue, Justin has slashed feed costs, which can quickly add up when feeding 200 registered Angus cows.
In 2020, Robbins Land & Cattle, LLC started to sell their naturally raised, homegrown beef through an online store. The couple saw the value-added opportunity as a way to share their story of environmental stewardship with their community and local customers. One year after opening their online store, Robbins Land & Cattle, LLC saw tremendous growth, doubling its sales despite a global health pandemic.
Robbins Land & Cattle will now compete for national honors. The national ESAP recipient will be announced in late July.
About the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents nearly 6,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.” www.iacattlemen.org.
— Iowa Cattlemen’s Association