York County woman named 2021 Organic Farmer of the Year by national organization – North Platte Telegraph

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York County woman named 2021 Organic Farmer of the Year by national organization

Amy Bruch of Cyclone Farms in rural York County has been named the national 2021 Organic Farmer of the Year by the Organic Trade Association. She will be honored during an event in Washington D.C. next February.

York News-Times

York News-Times

Let’s get to the bottom on it, shall we? What exactly does “organic” mean? Is buying “organic” just a trendy hype, or is it really worth the higher prices we pay in the supermarket? And how do you shop organic produce on a budget? All of these questions, and more, are answered in this latest Live Young video.

YORK COUNTY — Amy Bruch of Cyclone Farms, which is located in rural York County, has been named the national 2021 Organic Farmer of the Year by the Organic Trade Association, a national organization.This week, the association announced the 2021 Organic Leadership Award honor, saying the distinction is given to “visionaries who have advanced organic by promoting the industry’s climate change mitigation practices, investing in social responsibility initiatives, leading organic transition programs and keeping the organic community safe during COVID-19.”Bruch will be honored at an event next February in Washington D.C.This is the most prestigious award an organic farmer can achieve — and it has never been won by a woman or anyone from the Midwest.The awardees are nominated by their peers and chosen unanimously by the association’s board of directors.“Bruch is a sixth-generation farmer. Since carrying on the legacy of her family farm in Nebraska nine years ago, after the sudden passing of her father, she and her husband, Tyler, evolved the operation into one of the most cutting-edge organic farms in the country and converted nearly 2,500 acres of high productive farm ground to organic row crops, small grains, pulses and oilseeds," the association said.Bruch is a soil health expert who uses the Kinsey-Albrecht approach on her operation. She has had experience with various projects to help establish sustainable farming systems on four continents, the association said, and she is currently serving as a member of the National Organic Standards Board.The association noted that Bruch is the co-founder of AgriSecure, a first-of-its-kind full-service organic consulting company that helps farmers transition into organic production. “This effort has already helped convert over 65,000 acres represented by more than 68 farmers across 15 states in their organic transition. Her leadership is widely revered as setting the pace for getting growers through transition and fully certified to organic.”In an earlier interview with the York News-Times, Bruch talked about how she has learned through experimentation and lessons of trial and error alongside her father, Gary Schlechte.“I learned from my dad’s point of view,” Bruch said. “I worked really closely with him growing up. We did some crazy, interesting experiments together.”Her father passed away suddenly in 2012. “Instead of working with him, we’re working for him now,” she said.She said during the earlier interview that one of her philosophies is to marry the way people farmed decades ago with current technology, all while maintaining organic status.“There is a renewed focus on agronomy as soil health is our number one defense to fight the challenges of the season,” she said.She added that organic farming offers significant challenges. “It’s a humbling way to farm. Not everything works the way we want it to; you’ve got to make a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. There isn’t a road map for what we do and there is definitely not an ‘easy’ button because the solutions are very different."It requires very detailed plans, management and recordkeeping, but it has allowed for my husband and I and our team to dive deeper into soil balancing, applying new technology and expand our team to allow additional opportunities for those interested in ag to get involved.”Bruch has traveled to South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, she said, where she was fascinated by many different types of agriculture.“There is a common thread that allows for benchmarking, innovation and support,” she said, regarding the universal art of farming.“This is a life, not a career,” she added.The Organic Trade Association is a business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. The association represents over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states.

Photos: Harvest time in Nebraska in past years

Harvest time

A farmer harvests under an almost full moon on Oct. 23, 2018, east of Ceresco.

Journal Star file photo

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Marie and Nico Sandman pick out fresh produce at the Robinnette Farms stand at the Holiday Harvest Farmers Market inside the Park Centers Banquet Hall in December 2018.

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Jerry Lawton pulls an auger wagon as he and his brother Larry harvest soy beans at Nebraska 79 and Raymond Road in October 2016.

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Harvey Cramer (right) watches as his son Lee Cramer harvests soybeans in October 2017 in Gage County.

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The gold of harvest fills a truck near Southwest 140th and Van Dorn in the Pleasant Dale area in October 2015.

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Farmer Todd Buel harvests corn from a field 3 miles east of Clatonia in November 2015.

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Sixth-generation farmer Todd Buel harvests corn from a field 3 miles east of Clatonia in November 2015.

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Don Magee, with his grandson Jacob Larsen in tow, uses his 1957 John Deere and vintage Dearborn-Woods Bros picker to harvest a row of corn southeast of Lincoln in November 2015.

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Jacob Larsen, 19, uses his grandfather's 1957 John Deere tractor and vintage single-row picker to harvest corn Monday southeast of Lincoln in November 2015.

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With harvest complete, the hay minions have returned to their home on the highway between Beatrice and Lincoln in October 2015.

LEE ENTERPRISES FILE PHOTO

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Corn crops are harvested by a combine at Louis Stukenholtz's farm outside of Nebraska City in October 2015.

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Farmer Blake Huls, of Cortland, spends part of a rainy day during harvest season working on his dad's combine in September 2014.

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Jim Nagle harvests soybeans north of Lincoln near North 14th Street and Raymond Road in September 2012.

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The harvest isn't always in the fall. Sixth-graders Cassie White (from left), Logan Brown and Kylee Combs from Christ Lutheran Vacation Bible School help harvest turnips from a raised bed at the Mickle Middle School community garden in June 2014.

JOURNAL STAR FILE PHOTO

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A farmer harvests corn in Pawnee County in October 2017.

KAYLA WOLF, Journal Star file photo

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Picker Juan Ortega, of Lincoln, picks bunches of Lacrosse grapes during the August 2013 harvest at James Arthur Vineyards.

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As harvest season wrapped up last November, Farmers Cooperative in Pickrell had two piles of corn on the ground. 

LEE ENTERPRISES FILE PHOTO

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Corn flows into a truck in Pawnee County in 2017.

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Kathi Kirwan of Greenwood carries buckets full of freshly picked Lacrosse grapes through the vineyard at James Arthur Vineyard in August 2013.

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Farmer friends of Rick Meints, who died April 26, 2019, harvested his soybeans the following October.

FRANCIS GARDLER, JOURNAL STAR

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Allen Bongers harvests a cornfield on the north edge of Brainard in October 2014. Riding along in the cab were his daughter-in-law Kim Bongers and granddaughter Leah Bongers.

LEE ENTERPRISES FILE PHOTO

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Amy Gerdes harvests tomatoes in the hoop house at the Community CROPS farm and garden near 112th and Adams streets in August 2013.

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David Brhel harvests corn 3 miles east of Milford in October 2014.

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Volunteers harvest corn on Jon Stopak's farm near Duncan in October 2013. Stopak was injured the previous month in a four-wheeler accident, preventing him from harvesting the 120 acres. Friends, family and neighbors helped harvest the crop.

LEE ENTERPRISES FILE PHOTO

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Phalin Strong helps harvest lavender in Bennet in June 2013.

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Carl Goeking of Fairbury drives a grain truck as he helps his son-in-law Galen Roebke harvest soybeans in October 2013 east of Seward.

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Jan Cech bundles lavender while harvesting in Bennet in June 2013.

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Carol Pope harvests a bumper crop of grapes at Twin Creek Vineyard near Sterling in August 2012.

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Garrett VanDerSys carries freshly harvested German Extra Hardy in June 2012, one of 32 varieties of garlic grown at Back When Farms.

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Not every farmer has a huge operation. Jody Barber harvests lettuce from her first garden while her puppy Moxy runs around the backyard of her home on 37th Street in April 2012.

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Ernie Rousek harvests seeds from gayfeathers (Liatris pycnostachya) on his four-acre prairie near Pleasant Dale in October 2011.

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Chris Peters harvests soybeans near DeWitt in October 2011.

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A farmer harvests wheat north of Malcolm in July 2011.

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With combined stalks standing against a late-afternoon fall sky, Myron Dorn's tractor and corn wagon wait for another load as he combines south of Firth in September 2010.

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Myron Dorn, working with Dorn Brothers of rural Adams, harvests corn south of Firth in September 2010.

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Amy Bruch of Cyclone Farms in rural York County has been named the national 2021 Organic Farmer of the Year by the Organic Trade Association. She will be honored during an event in Washington D.C. next February.

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