LUBBOCK, Texas – Quail Forever announces the hiring of Joshua Michna as the new Precision Agriculture & Conservation Specialist to support growers in the Texas High Plains region. This new role is made possible by the collaboration of Quail Forever, Cotton Incorporated, BASF Agricultural Solutions, and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program to boost farm profitability and deliver tangible environmental benefits.
Michna’s new role will help landowners make best use of cutting-edge technology and voluntary wildlife conservation practices to identify acres of farmland opportunity. He will work with farmers to develop a Precision Ag Business Plan suited to their operation. By targeting return on investment at a sub-field scale, Michna will help define areas to explore alternative agricultural practices, voluntary conservation programs, cost-share and other funding opportunities to increase profits and success for a producer’s operation. The end goal of this position is to offer habitat-based solutions including soil health, water quality, carbon sequestration and rural economic development while maintaining high farm revenues.
“The Habitat Organization is excited and proud to collaborate with the great programs and people at Cotton Incorporated, United Sorghum Checkoff Program, and BASF Agricultural Solutions in this effort to promote farm profitability along with conservation initiatives,” Director of Sustainability Partnerships for Quail Forever Brent Rudolph said. “Texas Panhandle cotton and sorghum growers are committed to supporting a healthy environment and bright economic future for their families and communities, and quail, pheasants, and other wildlife will benefit from our efforts to work together here.”
The addition of a Texas-based precision specialist adds further momentum to Quail Forever’s collaborative agricultural initiatives to deliver sustainability outcomes. Starting in 2019, the Cotton Sustainability & Quail Recovery Project in cooperation with Cotton Incorporated set the table for innovation in the commodity sector. Since that time, the Sorghum for Birds initiative with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the recent national sponsorship announcement with BASF Agricultural Solutions have positively transformed Quail Forever’s grower relationships in focal regions for upland birds.
“This program is a great opportunity for sorghum and cotton producers in Texas. The collaboration aims to help farmers apply production data and precision ag technologies to identify less profitable acres and create biodiverse habitats,” Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President for Cotton Incorporated Jesse Daystar, Ph.D. said. “The project outcomes will benefit the environment and native bird species surrounding cotton farmland while helping producers increase profitability.”
“This expanded, multi-commodity conservation collaboration—built upon the strong foundations of ongoing coordination between our industry organizations and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever—will further enhance sorghum’s recognition as The Resource Conserving Crop™️ through targeted conservation delivery in sorghum and cotton rotation systems in West Texas,” Director of Sustainability for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Adam York said. “We look forward to increasing the sustainability of both industries through the shared on-farm impacts of our new Precision Agriculture Conservation Specialist in Lubbock.”
“We are excited to collaborate with Quail Forever, Cotton Incorporated, and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program to further the cause of conservation and agricultural sustainability in West Texas,” Sustainability Manager for BASF’s North American Seeds Ray Daniels said. “This program provides the opportunity for growers to identify alternatives for lower yielding acres that are both environmentally sustainable and economically viable. With access to the resources provided by the Precision Ag and Conservation Specialist, growers will have more options to consider when planning how to maximize their land use in 2023 and beyond.”
Growing up on the outdoor traditions of hunting and fishing in South Texas, Joshua Michna has a proud farming and ranching background with experience in all aspects of agriculture including the processing of cotton and sorghum, as well as the maintenance of farming equipment. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries management from Texas Tech University, he has worked in precision agriculture as a field technician for South Plains Precision Ag since 2019. Michna was previously employed as a farm technician for Heinrich Brothers Farms and Brushy Branch Ranch since 2009 where he gained firsthand experience with irrigation systems, combine and stripper harvesting, team management, and other ranch duties.
Michna will work closely with ag retailers such as implement dealers, software companies, grain cooperatives, certified crop advisors, ag lenders, and others to support sustainability practices throughout the Panhandle. For more information about precision agriculture and conservation solutions in Texas, contact Joshua Michna at [email protected] or (806) 696-9422.
About Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.
About The United Sorghum Checkoff Program
The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is a producer-funded organization that is dedicated to improving the sorghum industry through research, promotion and education. For more information about the USCP and other sorghum promotion projects please visit www.sorghumcheckof .com.
About Cotton Incorporated
Cotton Incorporated is the research and promotion company for Upland cotton. Funded by U.S. cotton growers and importers of Upland cotton-containing products, the not-for-profit organization’s mission is to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton. As a resource for the cotton industry, Cotton Incorporated conducts or oversees over 450 research and educational projects in an average year. Research areas range from the development of agricultural and textile innovations to analyses of commodity and market data. To learn more, visit www.CottonInc.com.
About BASF Agricultural Solutions
Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and af ordable food for a rapidly growing population while reducing environmental impacts. Working with partners and agricultural experts and by integrating sustainability criteria into all business decisions, we help farmers to create a positive impact on sustainable agriculture. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline, connecting innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our portfolio comprises seeds and specifically selected plant traits, chemical and biological crop protection, solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, of ice and in production, we strive to find the right balance for success – for farmers, agriculture and future generations. In 2021, our division generated sales of €8.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
Public Relations Manager
Director of Communications
United Sorghum Checkoff Program
Associate Director, Corporate Communications
Seed Sustainability Marketing Manager