Jim and Audra Chamberlin own and operate Island Lake Farm, a 107-acre diversified farm and forestry operation where they raise vegetables, livestock, fruit, mushrooms, and more. The farm is located on a natural environment lake where Audra mostly cares for the animals and homestead while Jim tends to soil health, erosion control and woodland management. Jim & Audra have influenced and shared their love of conservation and the outdoors with their 9 children, 11 grandchildren and others in the community. The portion of the farm that lies on a designated wild rice lake is nearing completion of an 82-acre perpetual conservation easement. The Chamberlins are active in local and regional organizations and have careers that improve conservation efforts in the Crow Wing County area.
Each year, the state's soil and water conservation districts recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota's natural resources. Jim & Audra were honored as Outstanding Conservationists of Crow Wing County & Area 8 at the annual convention of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Bloomington, Minnesota last December.
As stated by Sheila Boldt (from Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District), “Jim and Audra were recognized for a variety of reasons but most importantly the Chamberlins have developed a local network of trusted individuals in several conservation fields including forestry, gardening, and agriculture which makes them a positive and impactful resource in our community. Not only are they willing to help others understand best management practices but they continue to have a passion for learning new and innovative ways to be better stewards of the land.”