Farmland owned by the Garst family, who hosted Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s, will be sold at auction next month and placed into what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind soil conservation easement overseen by Whiterock Conservancy. The 1,900 acres near Coon Rapids, about 70 miles northwest of Des Moines, will be sold in eight parcels. Sealed bids must be submitted by the end of business on Aug. 6, with a live auction scheduled for Aug. 17 at the Raccoon River Social Club in Coon Rapids. The sale is expected to close on Sept. 17. The properties are being sold by the grandchildren of Roswell Garst, who developed state-of-the-art farming practices, and introduced Pioneer hybrid corn seed to the western corn belt. He befriended Khrushchev because he believed that hungry people were dangerous people, and that the seeds he was developing could help boost Soviet agriculture at a time when that country was struggling to feed its residents. According to a news release announcing the sale, the Garst family has been widely recognized for their commitment to innovation and sustainable farming. They have implemented soil conservation practices on the land that is being sold, which has led to increased yields, reduced soil compaction and increased water retention.