Babe Winkelman, an American sportsman and television producer best known for programs about hunting and fishing, and the Winkelman Farm are being recognized for achieving Water Quality Certification in Minnesota’s Ag Water Quality Certification Program.
Winkelman is the first to say that all of the conservation stewardship efforts on their farm have been a "family project," according to a news release. He 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 a few miles north of Perham.
As a result, the Winkelman family received their Water Quality Certified Farm sign on May 29, according to the release, 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 of trees, such as 9,000 fruit trees, 1,500 oak trees, 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 that protect young trees, according to the release.
When crops are planted on the Winkelman farm, it is done to provide 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 Winkelman's efforts are the numerous wood duck nests which they’ve put up on their land, according to the release.
In the transformation of the Winkelman farm into a wildlife haven, the longtime host of the nationally syndicated show “Good Fishing” is thankful for Wayne Enger, who helped the farm become an example of natural resource stewardship, according to the release. Babe is also 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, according to the release.