FARM SECTION: Duncans farm with an eye to the future

Dave and Linda Duncan enjoy the view from the back porch of their home near Mendon. Preserving the soil is important to the couple, and soil conservation lessons passed down from Duncanís father and grandfather still play out on the familyís 1,200 acres o
Posted: Feb. 11, 2013 11:42 am Updated: Mar. 11, 2013 12:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

MENDON, Ill.— Dave and Linda Duncan farm with an eye to the future.

"You need to be interested in preserving the soil and hopefully leave it a little better than you found it," Duncan said.

Soil conservation lessons passed down from his father and grandfather still play out on the family's 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans.

"We put in a lot of dry dams and terraces. We no till beans," he said. "It's a work in progress. We put in a few more every year."

Some of the first conservation practices were put into place on the family's farmland in the 1940s.

"Some of the first terraces that were put on the home farm were done by the CCC boys, which I think was being done when I was born in 1942," Duncan said.

The Duncans have revamped some of those terraces over the years as farming changed.

"They had them so close together we can't get our equipment down through them now," Duncan said.

Duncan passed along the importance of conservation to his son, Doug, and grandson, Brad.

The Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District has recognized the family for the practices used by all three generations on the century farm.

The family's involvement reaches far beyond soil conservation efforts.

"Their hard work and dedication to being stewards of the land and giving to the community stands out," Donna Jansen wrote in nominating her parents as the Herald-Whig farm family of the year.

Two generations of the family served on the Adams County and Illinois Pork Producers Boards, and three generations have been Adams County Farm Bureau board members. Dave served on the Farm Credit board, while Doug has served on the Farm Business Farm Management board and currently serves on the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District board. Both also have worked with the Adams County Fair.

Linda was the 4-H leader for the Mendon Marvels for 30 years, her daughters lead the Ellington Hilltoppers 4-H Club and three grandsons are active members of the Unity FFA Chapter.

Beyond farm-related organizations, the couple have served on a variety of community boards for North Adams Home, Ursa Retreat House, John Wood Community College Foundation, Unit 4 Foundation and several other organizations.

Other activities for the couple include her quilting and his charter chairmanship and ongoing work with the North Adams Ducks Unlimited Chapter along with collecting vintage duck calls.