Growing up, Kim Junk­­er dreamed of a plot of land where she could grow flowers and trees. She found that 80-acre parcel in Butler County, close to where her then-boyfriend, Ted, was renting to grow corn and soybeans.

Twenty years later, farmers Ted and Kim Junker have created their own oasis on that 80 acres, which is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). It’s just one piece of the couple’s conservation efforts on their farm. The 80 acres, which is marginal ground, is the perfect place for things like a pollinator habitat and shallow wetlands since it wasn’t an ideal location for growing corn and soybeans.

The Junkers started by working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to add a pond. They also began adding a variety of trees and shrubs.

In the 20 years since they bought...