CELINA — The Guardians of Grand Lake St. Marys (GOGLSM), an organization working to clean up Grand Lake St. Marys, recently established the Guardian of the Year award to recognize members who have contributed extraordinarily to cleaning up GLSM.
Jeff Rasawehr, a local farmer, was the first recipient. The award is not an annual award but is given to an individual who has worked tirelessly to have a positive impact on cleaning up GLSM. Rasawehr has conducted presentations, around the world and throughout the United States and Canada, on no-till farming practices. He takes a biological approach to farming versus the typical chemical farming practices that are prevalent in the GLSM watershed.
“I haven’t used commercial fertilizers in seven years and that is a tremendous savings to my cost of farming. If more farmers in the watershed would adopt these cost-saving practices, it would help clean up the lake,” stated Rasawehr.
Rasawehr has proven that by promoting the natural biology of the soil, i.e., restoring the soil to good health rather than destroying the soil with commercial fertilizers and pesticides, his crops have yielded more at much less expense. In fact, Rasawehr stated, “The water coming out of my drain tiles is so clean I can drink it.”
Rasawehr has continued to educate farmers on this better and healthier way of farming, including hosting a busload of Canadian farmers who wanted to learn cleaner and cheaper ways of farming. In Ohio he has met with much resistance, especially in the GLSM watershed, including intimidation tactics, threats and property damage, according to the GOGLSM. Rasawehr said he is perplexed that anyone in Mercer County would be threatened by low-cost farming practices, especially if it would help the lake.
The GOGLSM Board was pleased to award to Rasawehr for his dedication to cleaner farming practices and his support of GOGLSM’s efforts to clean up GLSM.