Jeff Boike took home top honors at this years’ 76th Annual Meeting by being named the 2018 Cooperator of the year by the Highland SWCD supervisors and staff. Boike was selected due to his devotion to agricultural and the determination to improve soil health and water quality throughout his farming operation. He served 12 outstanding years as an SWCD Supervisor and has helped with the installation of various conservation practices throughout Highland County. Boike 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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6th Annual Highland County Farm Tour a Great Success
The 6th Annual Highland County Farm Tour took place on Sept. 14, 2019. The farm tour was a result of a collaborative effort between Highland County Farm Bureau and Highland Soil and Water Conservation District. Over 100 people attended the event in the Fairview area.
The tour featured beautiful, diverse farms and provided beneficial information on local sustainable agriculture. The tour consisted of stops at the following locations: Bonnie Burchwell Farm; featuring a presentation on pond management by Aquatic Biologist Anthony Bruno from Jones Fish, Stroud’s Apiary; where participants learned how to become a beekeeper, Higgins Steel Roofing; which offered a unique look behind the scenes of their performance panel operation, see first-hand how honey is processed and tour the extensive beekeeping products sold at Higgins. In addition to learning about these unique farms, participants also enjoyed a pollinator habitat presentation from Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Barb Bauer after lunch on the importance of maintaining habitat to protect our pollinators.
The Highland County Farm Bureau and Highland Soil and Water Conservation District would like to thank The Nationwide, Newman-Barton Group of Hillsboro for donating bottled water, to help ensure the event was a great success.
Anyone that was unable to attend this year’s event, but would like to be informed of future events can call 937-393-1922 ext. 3 or 1-888-378-2212 to be added to the mailing list.
Cover Crop Field Day Held
The Highland SWCD and the Highland County Farm Bureau partnered together to host a field day to uncover the importance of planting cover crops. The event was held on August 21, 2019 at Brown Farms in Highland County. Information was provided on fertilizer recommendations, the importance of improving soil health and a tour of a cover crop plot was conducted. Various events was held throughout the day, such as in-field demonstrations and a rain simulator. This field day offered a unique on-site opportunity for landowners to carefully consider all cover crop options that can be implemented to advance their farming operation while capturing nutrients for a long-term investment.
Southwest Ohio Agricultural Conservation Menu
The Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Brown, Clermont, Clinton and Highland counties are working together to collect producer input to develop a new website, the Southwest Ohio Agricultural Conservation Menu (SOACM), to share information on conservation programs and technical services that are available locally to advance farming practices. The SOACM website will be a one-stop clearinghouse for all conservation programs. The site will include information and regular updates on watershed health and local water quality monitoring efforts. The intent of the SOACM website is to provide local farmers with the services and information they need to choose the right agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) that can advance their farming operations and provide protection for local rivers and lakes. Focus group meetings will be held in the spring to prioritize public input on the needed content of the website. The site will also include additional features, including access to locally-developed resources and interactive modules to facilitate information sharing between landowners and producers. The final version of SOACM is planned to be launched near the end of the year, so stay tuned!
HIGHLAND SWCD ANNUAL MTG
You are invited to attend the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District’s 77th Annual Meeting. This year’s event will be held on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at the Ponderosa Banquet Center located at 545 South High St. in Hillsboro. The Highland SWCD will be hosting a social hour from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. as voting for the Supervisor Election takes place. A buffet style meal will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Presentation of Awards beginning at 7:00 p.m. Reservations to attend need to be made by Oct 4. Please call 937-393-1922 Ext 3 or click on the events tab to register now.
WARM SEASON GRASS GRAZING WORKSHOP
An informational grazing workshop was held at the Millstone Creek Farm on July 16, 2019 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, Animal Performance and Economics, Warm Season Grass Pastures, Warm-Season Annuals and Cover Crop Options, and a pasture walk of the Millstone Creek Farm Operation. A delicious dinner was provided by the Highland County Cattlemen Association and Union Stockyards. The educational evening offered the opportunity to see 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.
Walker Named The District Conservationist
Delwyn (Lee) Walker was recently named the District Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for Highland and Adams County on January 7, 2019. Lee grew up in Greenfield, OH and began his career with NRCS by being an Earth Team Volunteer in Ross County in 2005. He then worked as a Student WAE at the Highland NRCS office for a couple of years, until he was hired on with NRCS as a Soil Conservationist in the Fall of 2007 and accepted a position in Auglaize County. Lee spent two years working in Auglaize County and then was transferred to Mercer County, where he worked two more years. He was then named the Resource Conservationist for NRCS in Adams/Highland County where he has spent the past six years. Lee and his wife Dorothy have two children, Addy and Lukas and he has enjoyed being able to settle down close to where he grew up. Lee is excited to serve at the District Conservationist and begin a new chapter in his life. He has worked on a wide variety of projects and is passionate about his job. Feel free to give Lee a call or stop by the office to discuss your conservation needs.
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.