Robert H. Spiers Jr. is the co-owner and operator of Spiers Farm, LLC, an 1,800-acre corn, soybean, grain, and tobacco farm. Founded in 1884, Robert is a seventh-generation farmer on this land, and is currently working to fully transition the farm operation to his son Mark. As a way to mitigate the impacts of drought and wind damage, Robert and Mark have not only implemented soil conservation practices on their farm through cover cropping, and no-till/low-till, but have also used their farm as a demonstration site to inspire other farmers in the region to implement these practices. With the recognition that his livelihood is deeply dependent on the health of the land, Robert takes a long-term perspective to farming, informing his conservation ethic and practices. 

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The Soil, Conservation, and Place Project is generously funded and supported by a community viability grant from Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and the Agua Fund. The project team includes Eric Bendfeldt, Mike Parrish, Kim Niewolny, Wade Thomason, and Maureen McGonagle from Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The project team especially wants to thank the participating farmers for sharing their time, experiences, and insights with us and the broader community.