The Pic farm has been in the family for generations, dating back to the 1870s. Walsh County landowner Donavon Pic recently asked his daughter Carrie to take over as the operations manager due to his failing health.

"Dad has always been a good steward of the land," Carrie said. "He enjoys the wildlife and the great people who come out to hunt our land."

Wanting to continue his stewardship of the land, Donavon found the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to be beneficial for the landowner and wildlife. EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers who implement conservation programs on their land.

Donovan's 400-acre property received financial assistance from an Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF) grant administered by Ducks Unlimited. This program helps landowners retain grasslands for wildlife and livestock and allows more haying and grazing options than traditional programs.

"The average small family operation cannot afford to do this. We are not sure what would have come of the family farm if it weren't for this program," Carrie said. "The OHF grant works for our land and Ducks Unlimited has been a great partner."

With the help of the OHF grant, the family cleaned up the algae-filled water on their property.

"The land now has favorable vegetation and duck nesting cover, making it a more welcoming environment for wildlife," Carrie said. "New waterfowl have come in since the programs were put in place, allowing the land to refresh itself."

These voluntary programs maintain land for future generations.

"Dad has been toiling in the dirt since he was a kid. He is carrying out his father's and grandfather's work and I hope to see my grandchildren enjoy the land as well," Carrie said.