Core Team, Cover Crops Working Group
Mark Schleisman and his wife, Melissa, run M&M Farms with their family. They grow 4,500 acres of crops near Lake City, including 2,500 acres of popcorn. They also have a 360-head cow-calf herd, a 450-head feedlot, and finish about 30,000 pigs annually. Understanding the importance of protecting natural resources, Schleisman is doing what he can to reduce sediment and nutrients in the water leaving his fields. This includes installing a bioreactor and saturated buffer in 2016. M&M Farms also uses cover crops on 2,500 acres and participates in a grazing cover crop study with Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Schleisman has been a leader in the successful Elk Run watershed Iowa Water Quality Initiative (WQI) and is involved with the expanded North Raccoon Farm to River Partnership WQI. In 2018, Schleisman was honored with the national Conservation Legacy Award from the American Soybean Association.