Babe Winkelman’s name is often recognized for his hunting and fishing adventures. Now the Winkelman Farm is being recognized for achieving Water Quality Certification in Minnesota’s Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP). And Babe Winkelman is the first to say that all of the conservation stewardship efforts on their farm have been a ‘family project’.
Babe appreciates that his wife, Kris, and his daughter, Karlee – as well as other family and friends – have worked beside him on many, many days, with the goal of establishing diverse wildlife habitat on their farm located a few miles north of Perham.
The result? The Winkelman family received their Water Quality Certified Farm sign on May 29th, because their farm protects Minnesota’s water and soil and also provides multiple types of habitat for wildlife, including 60 acres of native prairie. The Winkelmans and friends also planted many acres to trees, including 9,000 fruit trees (flowering crab trees, apple trees, & more) and 1,500 oak trees, as well as Norway pines, varieties of spruce, Nanking cherries, and other species. Much of their success in tree establishment they credit to their extensive use of tree tubes which protect young trees.
When crops are now planted on some acres of the Winkelman farm, this is done for the purposes of providing a mixture of habitat and “edges” between various habitat types. Some of these crop acres also serve as wildlife food plots. Their efforts bring numerous wildlife species to their land, such as deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, and waterfowl. Included in the Winkelmans’ efforts are the numerous wood duck nests which they’ve put up on their land.
In the transformation of the Winkelman farm into a wildlife haven, Babe is especially thankful for his “great friend”, Wayne Enger, whose efforts, knowledge, and time have enabled the farm to become an excellent example of natural resource stewardship. Babe is also very grateful for the assistance he’s received from Darren Newville and his staff at the East Otter Tail SWCD (Soil & Water Conservation District) as well as from the Perham NRCS staff.
Congratulations to Babe Winkelman and his family for achieving Water Quality Certification on their farm in northeast Otter Tail County!