The 71st annual dinner meeting of the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was held Dec. 7 at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. John Lenhart, Treasurer of the Board of Supervisors for the Shelby SWCD, served as emcee for the evening. A video presentation prepared by District Technician, Ryan Evers, depicted the work of the District over the past year. Approximately 100 guests enjoyed the pictorial review of conservation works across the county. Featured were; technical practices and structures, services for both rural and urban residents, conservation education and community outreach events.
Knouff Farms were tapped as the 2017 Outstanding Cooperators of the year. Knouff Farms have been long time cooperators of the Shelby Soil & Water Conservation District and advocates of conservation. Over the years, Mike, Steve, Pat and their families have been dedicated friends of conservation, installing many conservation practices on the land, including grass waterways, buffer strips and stream bank stabilization projects. They have also utilized no-till, conservation till, cover crops and nutrient management practices.
The District was proud to tap Knouff Farms as the 2017 Outstanding Cooperators for the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District. The Knouff family received a $100 check from the Luther and Iva Heintz Memorial Fund, a plaque and a sign for their barn. The Knouff’s are some of the many conservationists across the state that are making a positive impact upon the landscape. Congratulations Mike, Steve, Pat and families.
Also recognized was Nathan Sailor, Fairlawn FFA instructor and advisor, as the 2017 Outstanding Conservation Educator of the Year. The Fairlawn FFA program is a satellite of the Upper Valley Career Center. Nathan loves life and it shows in everything he does. He makes education come alive for his students. He and the Fairlawn FFA chapter have helped the District at; Forestry Field Day, Pioneer Day, the Shelby County Farm Tour, packing tree seedlings and in a wide variety of other ways. Nathan, his wife Mandy, and his parents, Randy and Connie Sailor, have provided the host site for the county wide FFA soils judging training for a number of years.
District Education Coordinator, Lynda Adams, stated she has 100 percent of the time received a resounding YES from Nate Sailor whenever asking if he and his students would assist the District with an event of project. Congratulations, Nathan Sailor, on this well-deserved recognition.
Longtime employee of the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District, District Technician, Dave Heilers, was recognized for his recent retirement after 34 years in the Soil and Water Conservation arena. Dave served 28 of those years assisting the residents of Shelby County. He will be deeply missed.
Numerous other people who freely give of their time throughout the year to support the programs of the District were asked to stand and be recognized. These dedicated volunteers are invaluable in helping to get the conservation message out to citizens of all ages across Shelby County.
John Geise of Turtle Creek Township was re-elected to serve a three year term on the District Board of Supervisors. His new term will begin Jan. 1, 2018. Other board members serving in 2018 will include; John Lenhart, Tom Seger, Lenny Albers and Bill Maxson.
The audience was entertained and enlightened by Mr. Steve Baker, the Northern Bureau Chief for WHIO TV 7. He works as a “one man band” covering a five county area including Miami, Darke, Shelby, Mercer and Auglaize counties. Guests learned that Steve has had a very interesting and sometimes surprising career.
Shelby SWCD encourages every resident to do their part in conserving the precious natural resources we have been blessed with in Shelby County. For conservation assistance, please contact our office at 937-492-6520, extension 3 or follow us on our Facebook page.
The writer is the education coordinator for the Shelby Soil & Water Conservation District.