Because agriculture dominates the midwestern landscape, it has a huge impact on environmental quality. Agricultural producers are often advised to adopt practices that help to reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment. However, like all humans, they are often reluctant to change, which makes the work of conservation professionals extremely challenging. In this publication we explore the myths and realities around what motivates farmers to adopt conservation practices. We draw on the authors' combined research and applied practitioner experience with farmer adoption of conservation practices. Most evidence is based on studies and observations of traditional row-crop farmers in the midwestern United States.