Gary Rathman Honored as Pheasants Forever, Conservation Faces of MN
Congratulations to Gary Rathman, Brown SWCD Supervisor, for being honored as a Pheasants Forever, Conservation Face of MN at their Annual Banquet on February 18, 2017!
Gary Rathman – Establishing a Land Ethic in Brown County
Having served his country in the United States Air Force, Gary Rathman started his farming career with his father after returning home from the Vietnam War in 1973. Rathman took over the family operation in 1984 and was recognized that same year as the “Brown County Outstanding Conservation Farmer” for his incorporation of soil and wildlife conservation practices within a production agriculture setting, including: terraces, irrigation water management, grass waterways, contour farming, and conservation tillage.
Following his retirement, Rathman pursued his passion for wildlife habitat conservation by converting his entire farm to high-diversity prairie, including 200 acres that is now enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and permanently protected as valuable wildlife habitat. Thanks to his land ethic and a vision for a better Minnesota, the remaining 480 acres were sold to the Minnesota DNR and is now managed as a Wildlife Management Area which is open to public hunting. These acts of conservation also led Rathman to becoming a supervisor for the Brown County Soil and Water Conservation District, a member of the Minnesota Prairie Enthusiasts, and a board member of the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan.