Peno Creek Landowner Council

Northeast Missouri, Peno Creek Watershed

Farmers in Peno Creek Watershed formed a landowner council of five farm families in 2013, working with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to understand local conditions and find practical ways to protect and improve local land and streams.

John and Sandy Scherder and family participate in the council. Because their operation includes both crops and managed grazing, they opened their farm as a site to test three cover crop seed mixes in demonstration plots, and installed alternate watering sources in paddocks.

Of their decision to innovate and invite others to do the same, John says, "A long stretch of Peno Creek runs through our land, and we want our grandchildren to be able to safely enjoy that creek, and have clean water like we did."

Of their decision to innovate and invite others to do the same, John says, “A long stretch of Peno Creek runs through our land, and we want our grandchildren to be able to safely enjoy that creek, and have clean water like we did.”

The landowner council hosted Peno Creek Cooperative Partnership Field Day with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Pike County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and MDC. Twenty landowners learned about watershed dynamics, benefits of cover crops, impacts of crop management practices on run-off and infiltration, and cost-share opportunities. Attendees heard presentations in the morning and walked through demonstration cover crop projects in the afternoon.

Workshops, training, demonstration projects, and land owner advisory council work in the Peno Creek Watershed are made possible, in part, by funds from Fishers & Farmers Partnership and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Peno Creek area landowner Charlie Becker plants a cover crop demonstration plot on Ranacker Conservation Area in the Peno Creek watershed. This plot was used to highlight opportunities for improving soil health with cover crops.

Peno Creek area landowner Charlie Becker plants a cover crop demonstration plot on Ranacker Conservation Area in the Peno Creek watershed. This plot was used to highlight opportunities for improving soil health with cover crops.