Building Soil Health for Generations Ahead

Fredricks 2Building soil health is a key component on Wayne Frederick’s farm as he plans for the future. However he’s not just building up his soil. He’s also building a network and connection of people who are looking to accomplish the same goal.Fredericks is an encouraging leader, as he leads by both example and passion. He’s serving as president of the Iowa Soybean Association and is in the midst of his second year on the American Soybean Board.

After graduating from Iowa State University in 1973, Fredericks returned to farm in Osage, Iowa. While farming in Osage, Wayne met his wife Ruth and they were married in 1975 and have lived on their current home site since 1979. Their daughter, Angela, stayed in the agricultural industry, too, now working for the National Pork Board.

The Fredericks grow corn and soybeans, with an emphasis on leaving the land better than they found it. Their passion is clear.

Fredricks 3“Soil health and quality can and do improve, depending on your farming practices,” said Fredericks. “Implementing practices of no-till and strip-till helps us raise better crops while improving the soil health. We are trying to raise the bar even further with the adoption of cover crops and pollinator habitat to further enhance water quality, soil health and the environment.”

The Fredericks will host a group of consumers on August 26, for Expedition Farm Country, which is part of the Iowa Food and Family Project, sponsored by the Iowa Soybean Association and supported by Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.

If you’re interested in attending this tour, email and state why you’d like to embark on the farm tour!
Fredericks is looking forward to hosting this group and is excited to answer questions and have a conversation about agriculture.Fredricks 7“They’re going to see the excitement of what we having going on in North Iowa. They’re going to see the cutting edge practices of conservation, and we are hoping this excitement will rub off on others,” Fredericks said.Watch for more blog posts about Expedition Farm Country! In the meantime, try this recipe from the Iowa Food and Family Project, sponsored by the Iowa Soybean Association. Cool down with these State Fair Peppermint Ice Cream Bars!

State Fair Peppermint Ice Cream Bars


2 quarts vanilla ice cream
1 package (1 lb) Double-Stuffed Oreos®
2 jars (12 oz each) hot fudge ice cream topping
½ cup crushed peppermint candies
½ tsp. peppermint extract, optional


Line an 8x8 baking pan with plastic wrap, extending the sheets of plastic over the sides. Set the ice cream out to soften.
Place the Oreos® in a large plastic zip-top bag and crush into large pieces with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Press half of the crushed cookies into the pan and freeze until firm. When the ice cream is soft, stir in the crushed candies and extract, if desired. Carefully spread softened ice cream onto the layer of crushed cookies and freeze for 30 minutes, or until firm.
Warm the hot fudge topping in a microwave for 45 seconds and carefully spread over the chilled ice cream layer. Press the remaining crushed cookies gently into the fudge to secure, then freeze for 8 hours or until firm.
To serve, life the bars out of the pan using the overhanging plastic wrap and transfer to a cutting board. Carefully peel the plastic away and cut into 9 bars. Serve immediately or wrap individual bars in plastic and freeze.