Congratulations to the Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2017 Conservation Farmer of the Year: Dalane Allenbaugh of Allenbaugh Farms! Dalane is a Coles County native. He grew up in rural Mattoon, and started farming with his father, Duane. Dalane and his wife Laurel have two daughters, Danielle and Melanie (you may know her from the FSA office), and 2 grandkids that keep him busy. In addition to farming around 1200 acres in Coles County, for the last two years he has also acted as the chief “hop-erating” officer at Riley Creek Hops, growing a specialty crop along interstate 57 for the beer brewing industry. In his spare time, Dalane is active in the community. He serves on the board for an elevator, and previously served as a director and chairman on the Coles County SWCD board. In that role he helped promote the usage of no-till farming and cover crops by hosting the District’s cover-cropping seminars at his farm. His use of conservation practices doesn’t stop there. He also has filter strips along the creeks that run through his farms, plants double row soybeans, uses a no-till system, and plants cover crops on approximately 250 acres in the county with an increase in cover cropped acres every year. Thank you, Dalane, for being a good steward of soil and water resources in Coles County!