Nathan Brown took home top honors at this years’ 77th Annual Meeting by being named the 2019 Cooperator of the year by the Highland SWCD supervisors and staff. Brown was selected due to his devotion to agricultural and the determination to improve soil health and water quality throughout his farming operation. He has worked diligently with local landowners to install much needed conservation practices on their farms. Brown is a well-respected leader in the agricultural industry and serves as an example of how to incorporate best management practices that will protect our natural resources.
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SWCD Supervisor Election Notice
The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission will cause an election of Supervisors of the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to be held in accordance with Chapter 940 of the Ohio Revised Code. Individuals who own or occupy land within The Highland Soil and Water Conservation District and are 18 years of age or older may vote for the Supervisors.
There are three ways an eligible voter can cast a ballot:
1.) At the SWCD office from September 6, 2020 until September 19,2020 during normal business hours; or
2.) At the SWCD Annual Meeting Drive Thru, which will take place at the Good News Gathering on Sept 19,2020 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm; or
3.) Vote absentee from August 7, 2020 until September 18, 2020, by requesting the ballot application and election ballot from the SWCD office at; 514 Harry Sauner Rd. Ste.2 Hillsboro, OH 45133, by calling 937‐393‐1922 Ext. 3, or email at; firstname.lastname@example.org. Absentee ballots must be received by the SWCD office by Sept 18, 2020 at 4:30 pm.
Two Supervisors will be elected to a three‐year term commencing January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2023.
1. Dan Chambers
2. Chris S. Cox
3. Jeff Roehm
With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting everyone, we want you to be aware that the Highland SWCD office is open, with limited access to the public. We are operating under normal business hours via phone and email to help serve you during this difficult time. We have essential employees in our office daily with remaining staff working remotely for precautionary measures. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.
Carroll Hired as The District Resource Specialist
Josh Carroll was hired this spring as the District Resource Specialist for the Highland SWCD. He graduated from Morehead State University in the winter of 2018. Josh spent most of his summers and weekends working for a local lawncare business and helping area farmers in the fields. He grew up in Rainsboro and is passionate about helping his community. Josh’s love for the great outdoors and the time he spent working with farmers lead him to the SWCD so he could not only help himself, but others learn and practice conservation techniques that will enhance our natural resources.
The Highland Soil and Water Conservation District will hold their regular monthly Board Meetings on the second Wednesday of each month. Due to COVID-19 and House Bill 197 these Board Meetings will be held via conference call until further notice. If you would like information on how to connect to a conference call, please contact the office at 937-393-1922 ext. 3 for more information
The Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Brown, Clermont, Clinton and Highland counties rolled out the new Southwest Ohio Agricultural Conservation Menu (SOACM) website recently. The SOACM website was created to be a one-stop clearinghouse for all agriculture resource programs and will provide information needed to choose the right Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that will enhance your farming operation. Visit www.soacm.com for more details.
2020 Highland County Farm Tour Cancelled
The Highland SWCD and the Highland County Farm Bureau are sad to announce that the 7th Annual Highland County Farm Tour will be cancelled this year due to the pandemic but since you have already saved the date, please check out the unique drive thru event we have put together for September 19, 2020! We look forward to seeing you at the Farm Tour next year to showcase farms in our community. Once the event gets closer, we will post information on the farm stops on the SWCD and Farm Bureau websites. Visit www.highlandswcd.com or www.ofbf.org/counties/highland periodically for more details.
ADDITIONAL PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CLEAR CREEK WATERSHED AREA
The Highland Soil and Water Conservation District recently applied for a Clear Creek Water Quality & Wildlife Habitat Special Initiative in coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver assistance for conservation and wildlife management practices in the Clear Creek Watershed. This Initiative will continue the conservation efforts of The Clear Creek Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to work with various partners including, Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Wildlife, City of Hillsboro, US Fish and Wildlife, and Pheasants Forever, Inc. to maintain water quality, reduce soil erosion and improve wildlife habitat.
The Clear Creek Watershed is located in South West Ohio, Highland County and drains approximately 29,400 acres of land. There is nearly 16,400 acres of agricultural cropland within the watershed. The entire Clear Creek watershed is in the project area, which is unique in that it serves as the source water for the City of Hillsboro, and is the main drinking water source for 6,500 residents and businesses. The Clear Creek Watershed also encompasses Ohio’s first Bobwhite quail focus area. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and listed partners have made sustaining the declining Northern Bobwhite quail population a priority. Within the Clear Creek watershed 9,900 acres have been designated as a focus area for quail habitat management.
This special initiative project will implement a series of agricultural best management practices to protect water quality, improve soil health and provide habitat for at risk species in the Clear Creek Watershed. It will also help protect the City of Hillsboro’s drinking water supply and provide prescribed habitat for Ohio’s diminished Bobwhite Quail population and native pollinators. Project goals for conservation practices include the installation of cover crops, nutrient management, grassed waterways, and certain prescribed wildlife management practices that improve habitat for targeted species. The project will utilize the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to meet the project goals. Implementation of BMPs will be prioritized upstream of the City of Hillsboro’s drinking water intake and within the wildlife focus area for Bobwhite Quail. If you live or farm in the Clear Creek Watershed and would like more information on the program stop in the NRCS/SWCD office or call 937-393-1922 ext. 3.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND THE COMBINED FARM BUREAU & SWCD ANNUAL MEETING DRIVE THRU ON SEPT. 19TH
You are invited to attend a unique drive thru Annual Meeting co-hosted by the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District and the Highland County Farm Bureau on Saturday, September 19, 2020. The event will be held at the Good News Gathering parking lot located at 6250 US 62 in Hillsboro from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. You will have the opportunity to vote for candidates in the SWCD Supervisor Election, as well as policies, trustees and delegates for Farm Bureau. A free $10 meal voucher to Ponderosa will be given to each participant who casts their vote in one or both elections. You can even pre-order fish to stock your pond and pick them up through the drive thru service on the same day! No reservations needed to attend. Various booths with giveaways will be located throughout the drive thru event. For more details please call 937-393-1922 ext. 3.
Pictured are members of the Lynchburg-Clay Eagles team (l-r): Bridget Wilkin, Sydney Hamilton, Tiah McLean, Matthew Gossett and Sam Hamilton. The team placed second in the Ohio Envirothon competition.
Lynchburg-Clay Competes in Virtual Envirothon
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all levels of the high school Envirothon competition were canceled this year. However, the Ohio Envirothon Committee graciously hosted a virtual state competition for schools wanting to compete.
The competition consisted of teams of five students, who completed online tests of aquatics, forestry, soil, wildlife and the environmental topic of “Water Resource Management: Local Control and Location Solutions.” Once the test scores were tabulated, the top six scoring teams were invited to create a five-minute presentation addressing a scenario that was created for this year’s environmental topic.
Lynchburg-Clay High School had two teams which competed. Both teams placed in the top six and created the oral presentation competition, which was held online.
The Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs team, which consists of Leah Bauer, Kurt Hamilton, Allison Kohus, Austin Leininger and Kara Williams, finished in fourth place.
KARNES FAMILY HONORED AT ANNUAL MTG
Charles and Kay Karnes and Family were presented with a Bicentennial Farm award at the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District’s 77th Annual Meeting. It was a privilege to have the Ohio Department of Agriculture Assistant Director, Tim Derickson in attendance to present this award to the Karnes Family as part of the Ohio Historic Farms program.
All Highland Soil and Water Conservation District programs and services are offered on a non-discriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status.