Mallery family awarded 2021 Conservationist of the Year

The Mallery family of Shafer, MN, have recently been awarded the 2021 Conservationist of the Year award given by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD). This program recognizes farm families, individuals, conservation organizations, and other groups nominated for accomplishments to implement conservation practices and improve Minnesota’s natural resources.

Because of their geographic location, the Mallery family has been committed to implementing conservation practices that keep soil and nutrients in place as the landscape of southeastern Chisago County is steep and full of rolling hills. But that is not the only reason they take land conservation so seriously; the family’s farm overlooks the St. Croix River which is a National Scenic Riverway and located near Minnesota’s Interstate Park. This regional natural resource attracts thousands of visitors every year to camp, fish, and enjoy outdoor recreation like hiking. The Mallery’s work hard to do their part in keeping it beautiful by keeping conservation and sustainability top of mind on the dairy farm.

Many different practices are implemented on the Mallery operation today including erosion control, nutrient, on-site water management, cover crop rotations, grazing management, and buffers. In 2020 the Mallery’s also received certification in the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification program.

This registered Jersey dairy farm is currently run by third-generation farmer Jeff Mallery and his wife Karla. They also have three kids, Eddie, Tommy, and Elizabeth. Besides milking 250 cows and raising replacements they also grow hay and corn for silage and grain. The farm and land have been passed down for generations as Jeffs’s grandfather, William, purchased the farm in the 1950s, leaving it to his sons, Jeff’s father, Joe, and his uncle, Bill. Sadly, Joe passed in 2020 and Bill retired in the same year, leaving the farm in Jeff’s hands since then.

Thank you and congratulations to the Mallery family and their outstanding conservation efforts!