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Published on: Nov. 2, 2001

Last revision: Nov. 9, 2010

honest price. It was a good feeling."

Baima said his dealings with government partnering programs became easier when the Conservation Department put their Private Land Conservationists into Soil and Water District offices.

"It's a hub," he said. "Now I only have to go to one office. There are so many programs available that it will confuse you, but with the PLS, the NRCS people and Soil and Water people all in one place, you can access virtually anybody and everybody and all the programs.

"A farmer's first source of information is other farmers," Baime said. Every successful farmer I've talked to is taking advantage of these partnerships." When people ask me where they can get help, I tell them, 'You're missing the boat if you don't at least talk to these folks.'"

Our Dream Home

Bill Lehmann owns 144 acres in Gasconade County. Although the bulk of the property is woods, He has 30 acres in crops, including five pastures in clover and redtop grass that his neighbor hays for him. He bought the property 21 years ago, and said that until he retired from the printing business a little over a year ago, he could only work on the property about a day and half a week,

"If you could have seen this land 21 years ago, you wouldn't believe it," Lehman said, "You couldn't walk from the house to the barn because it was so completely overgrown. It was full of dead trees and head-high poison ivy. We've been reclaiming from the jungle since day one."

Lehmann said he cleared as much as he could by brush-hogging and discing. "If you don't keep it up, the jungle will return," he said.

He described his work as a labor of love. "The place is primarily for wildlife," he said. "I'm not making any money off it, except for a little bit from the hay, and I put that back into the property."

He said he learned about Conservation Department assistance when he was printing brochures and materials for the Department. "Every time I went there I'd grab literature," he said.

Lehmann said Floyd Ficken from the Consevation Department came out to visit and, using aerial maps, marked out a game improvement plan. The plan included clearing land, planting food plots and making what he called "bunny condos," which are shelters of crisscrossed small logs draped with grapevines and other plants. "They make good refuges for rabbit and quail," he

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