Dave Parry took home top honors at this years’ 75th Annual Meeting by being named the 2017 Cooperator of the year by the Highland SWCD supervisors and staff. Parry was selected due to his devotion to agricultural and the determination to improve soil health and water quality throughout Highland County during his 36 plus years working for NRCS. Parry has had a hand in installing and utilizing various conservation practices over the years. He is a well-respected leader in the agricultural industry and provides an outstanding example of how to incorporate best management practices that will protect the natural resources of Highland County.
KEEP UPDATED ON THE LATEST NEWS!
GRAZING WORKSHOP OFFERS NEW CONCEPT
An informational grazing workshop was held at the Millstone Creek Farm on July 24, 2018 located at 9061 Grabill Road in Hillsboro, OH. This was a collorabitive event hosted by the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, USDA NRCS, the Ohio State University Extension and the ODNR, Division of Wildlife to provide opportunities for farmers to learn new advanced grazing techniques. Topics of discussion included; Pasture Management, Beef Cattle Updates, Warm Season Grass Pastures, Conservation Programs, and the History of the Millstone Creek Farm. A delicious dinner was provided by the Highland County Cattlemen Association and Union Stockyards. The educational evening offered the opportunity to learn first-hand how the farm converted fescue to perennial native grasses, to allow a unique grazing technique that will increase water quality, improve soil health, and provide wildlife habitat. This conversion concept is featured in the national Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) project through USDA, NRCS that will assist eligible livestock producers to implement conservation practices to address habitat loss without taking their land out of production. If you would like more information on the WLFW program you may contact the NRCS or SWCD office at 937-393-1922 x 3.
New Employee Hired
Jesse Stacey was recently hired as the District Resource Specialist for the Highland County SWCD. He graduated from Hocking College in 2014 and majored in GeoEnviromental Science. In 2013, Jesse spent the summer interning with the Highland SWCD in assisting the District Technician. He grew up on a local farm and enjoys hunting and fishing. He has been married to his wife Dana for seven years and has one three-year-old daughter named Eliza. Jesse’s passion for the outdoors lead him to a career in conservation so others can enjoy our natural resources for generations to come.
Women’s Conservation Series Concluded
The Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Brown, Adams and Highland counties are excited to report that the third series entitled “Tri-County R.O.W.” - Real Outdoor Women, was a great success this year! The format encouraged women to try a new skill, spend an evening with ladies who have similar interests and learn from experts in the field in a non-pressure atmosphere. The series introduced participants to a new outdoor pursuit including; handguns, pollinators and outdoor cooking and canning.
Several ladies in the Tri-County area took advantage of this great opportunity to pursue their outdoor interests, therefore plans are already in the making for another event in 2018!
Clear Creek RCPP USDA Funding Available
The Clear Creek Water Quality & Wildlife Habitat Initiative is a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver assistance for conservation and wildlife management practices in the Clear Creek Watershed. Lead Partner, Highland Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded funding for The Clear Creek RCPP with the help of various partners including Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife, City of Hillsboro, US Fish and Wildlife, and National Wild Turkey Federation.
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 RCPP 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 innovative 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) and partner funds 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 are 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. Application deadline to be considered in the second sign-up period is January 19, 2018.
Highland SWCD/NRCS Celebrates YMCA's 15th Anniversary
An open house was held at the Highland County YMCA on June 24, 2018 to celebrate their 15th Anniversary. The Highland SWCD and NRCS participated in the event to showcase local businesses in the community. Hillsboro City Councilman Justin Harsha presented a proclamation to the YMCA in recognition of the facility's mark.
2018 HIGHLAND COUNTY FARM TOUR – SAVE THE DATE!
The 5th Annual Highland County Farm Tour co-hosted by the Highland County Farm Bureau and the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District will be held on September 15, 2018. This year the tour will highlight farms in the New Petersburg area that will feature updated technology on managing your hay operation at the Karnes Farm, learn about an innovative high-tech swine facility from the Surber Family, and visit the Karnes Orchard with a newly constructed on-site market place. The goal of this collorabitive event is to provide opportunities for farmers to learn new advanced techniques and interact with others. It will be an educational day to see how others have utilized various conservation practices on their farms to promote water quality and soil erosion, as well as, incorporate unique projects to sustain their farming operation. Lunch will be provided. Visit www.highlandswcd.com or www.ofbf.org/counties/highland periodically for more details. If you would like to be added to the Farm Tour mailing list to receive notification of the event, please call the SWCD office at 937-393-1922 x 3.
SWCD Provides a Hot Meal to Ronald McDonald House in Dayton!
The Highland Soil and Water Conservation District took to the kitchen on March 9 in honor of the Lee Walker Family, to provide a hot meal to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Dayton, OH. This was a wonderful opportunity to help others in need and be a small part of an amazing home to parents while their children are under care at the Dayton Children's Hospital. If you would like to make a difference and get involved you may visit; www.RMHCdayton.org for information.
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.