Lewis & Clark NRD Welcomes Becky Ravenkamp

Lewis & Clark NRD Welcomes Becky Ravenkamp


HARTINGTON, Nebraska -- The Lewis and Clark NRD has hired Becky Ravenkamp as the Bow Creek Watershed Coordinator to address nonpoint source pollution loads in Bow Creek.

When asked what the most important she want the community to know about her she replied, “I hope everyone in the watershed will come to understand that I am an agriculturalist first, and want to help producers be successful so they can pass the farm or ranch to the next generation.”

Her passion for that radiates in everything she does. She credits that from growing up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Colorado and marrying into a conservation minded family farm. “When we got married and returned to the farm, we had to find a way to support another family on the same acres. Conservation farming started out as a way to cut expenses. Then we discovered soil health and that changed the way we viewed the world,” she said.

Over the years the farm changed from a conventional summer fallowed wheat-feed rotation to a diverse, continuous crop, never-till rotation. Corn and sunflowers entered the rotation, and as they realized carbon was the limiting factor wheat was replaced by continuous crop rye, and cattle forage was not removed from acres, unless it was grazed as cover crops.

“Being a conservation farmer comes with many challenges. It can be a lonely road. We found support and knowledge at no-till events across the high plains. We have been blessed to have the opportunity to see soil health systems on three continents. These events lit the passion I have for conservation minded producers and organizations that support them,” she said.

She worked for the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association, No-till on the Plains, and Health First before coming to the NRD. As Health First Executive Director, she co-authored a 2019 CIG On-Farm Demo Grant, appropriately titled FARMS Project, that started this spring. “I see the FARMS Project benefiting the Bow Creek Watershed Project. Two of the FARMS participants are right here in the Bow Creek Watershed. As we learn how producers successfully transition to soil health management systems across the region, we can share that information with other producers in Bow Creek.”

That is not the only project supporting Bow Creek. There are many agency and non-profit partners that are coordinating efforts to support producers to adopt conservation practices. “It is really  impressive how many resources producers in Bow Creek have. Then NRD and their partners have done a great job creating programs to support producers.” So far, she says the best part of the job has been the people. “I have met some great people in the Bow Creek area, from agency and agronomy professionals to innovative producers. I am excited to work with them and get to know others in the area.”

Becky moved to Nebraska in 2018 with her husband Scott, who is the production manager for Green Cover Seed in Bladen, and youngest daughter, Michaela, a junior at Verdigre High School. They own a small acreage outside of Verdigre, where Michaela rotationally grazes her FFA angus herd.