FORT LORAMIE — The 70th annual dinner meeting of the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was held Dec. 1 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.
Tony Pleiman and Pleiman Farms were tapped as the Outstanding Cooperators for 2016. They are long time cooperators of the Shelby SWCD and are strong advocates for conservation. Over the years Pleiman and his family have been dedicated friends of conservation, installing many conservation practices on the land, including; grass waterways, buffer strips and wildlife enhancement practices. They have also utilized no-till, conservation tillage, cover crops and nutrient management practices.
The District was proud to tap Tony Pleiman and the Pleiman Family as the 2016 Outstanding Cooperators for the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District. The Pleiman family received a $100 check from the Luther and Iva Heintz Memorial Fund, a plaque and a sign for their barn. The Pleiman’s are some of the many conservationists across the state that are making a positive impact upon the landscape.
Also recognized were Jim Metz and Mikie Quinter, Upper Valley Career Center Environmental Occupations teachers, as the Outstanding Educators of the Year. Both of them have a passion for teaching young people about conservation and creating opportunities for students to learn about the environment.
They have had Envirothon teams for many years and their teams have advanced to the Ohio Envirothon several times. In addition to having their own teams, for over 20 years they have hosted the Envirothon training day for all Envirothon teams from Shelby, Darke and Miami counties.
Metz, Quinter and their students annually host a Wetland Field Day for third-grade students. Their high school students are the presenters at the stations. This is a win-win for everyone involved.
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.
William Maxson, of Green Township, and Tom Seger, of McLean Township, were re-elected to serve three year terms on the District Board of Supervisors. Their new terms will begin Jan. 1, 2017. Other board members serving in 2017 will include John Lenhart, Lenny Albers and John Geise.
Craig Muhlenkamp, of Russia, entertained the audience with his juggling act along with a motivational and conservation message.
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, ext. 3, or follow them on their Facebook page.
The writer is the education coordinator for the Shelby Soil & Water Conservation District.