By Dan Ehrke
A 12-row corn harvester transfers feed corn to a 450 bushel grain cart, during the feed corn harvest at the John N. Mills & Sons farm; a family owned business located in the Hanover and King William Counties of Virginia, on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. A corn harvester removes the kernels from the husk, stalk and cob while on the move. Pleasant Level Farm was the original farm and a Land Grant from King George III of England to Nicholas Mills in 1725. The original acreage has never left the Mills family name and continues to be farmed by the family. Now the farm covers 5,744 acres that produce corn, wheat, soybeans, barley, hay and timber, and pastures a large herd of beef cattle. They have been using conservation and stewardship practices since the 1960s. Some of the efficient practices include no-till planting methods and cover crops to reduce soil erosion and prevent the leaching of nutrients into ground water, as well as livestock stream exclusion. The farm has several conservation easements that aids in the preservation and restoration of wetlands and waterways. For information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), please go to www.usda.gov. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.