Roger Ashley, NDSU Extension Service area cropping systems specialist at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, received the U.S. Zero Till Nonfarmer of the Year Award from the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association. Each year, the association honors a U.S. and Canadian farmer and agricultural professional for outstanding contributions to the organization.
Ashley received the award at the association’s annual workshop in Minot, N.D., on Jan. 10.
He was recognized for his advisory role to the association’s board, as well as leadership on the association’s program and third manual committees during the past four years. His efforts have resulted in well-attended, dynamic workshops and a publication titled “Beyond the Beginning,” which was released in February 2011. The publication is in its second printing of 10,000 copies.
The publication, although primarily aimed at producers interested in no-till cropping systems, has information on managing soil health, crop rotations, cover crops and other cropping system issues useful to producers not involved in zero-till cropping, according to Ashley.
“It is gratifying to see the appreciation from people you work with, especially when it is really a group effort rather than an individual,” Ashley said about his award. “Many of the concepts of sustainability, profitability and environmental responsibility are embodied by conservation agriculture or well-practiced no-till cropping systems, and it’s not work when you can meet all of these goals in production agriculture.”
Ashley has worked as Extension’s cropping systems specialist for southwestern North Dakota since 1997. He focuses on root pathogen control, specialty crops and water management.