Habitat & Conservation  |  07/18/2023

Younker Farms


Generational Agriculture and Wildlife Habitat

At the intersection of pollinator strips and sorghum fields in western Kansas, Younker Farms, a 6th generation family farming operation south of Hays, is delivering quality outcomes for wildlife and soil health with the help of Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.

Through a collaborative partnership, Sorghum Checkoff and The Habitat Organization are providing on-farm technical assistance to sorghum growers seeking conservation input for hard-to-farm or marginal acres, helping landowners achieve higher return-on-investment across agricultural landscapes.

Conservation has been a natural fit for Younker Farms in a setting where sorghum, The Resource Conserving Crop™, dominates the region of western Kansas. By implementing conservation practices such as no-till, cover crops, pollinator strips, grassy terraces, and waterway buffer strips, the Younker trio of Dale (dad), Brian, and Brad have created an agricultural mosaic where sorghum and habitat stewardship create meaningful outcomes for wildlife habitat, soil health, and water quality.

“As a farmer and a hunter, I take great pride in seeing what habitat does for upland birds,” said Brian Younker. “While I’m farming, I get to see flushing pheasants and whistling quail; I take great pleasure in knowing what we are doing for the land is also great for bird habitat.”

This is their story of sustainability: