Awards presented at SWCD Banquet

Staff Report

ROCKSPRINGS — Several individuals were honored as part of the annual Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District banquet held last week at Meigs High School.

Bolin named Lifetime Cooperator

The district’s third Lifetime Cooperator Award was presented to current Supervisor Joe Bolin. Bolin was specifically commended for his local and area and leadership in community development and conservation, and particularly in his role in making the Meigs SWCD Conservation Area become a reality.

To be considered as a lifetime cooperator, one must have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to conservation as exhibited by long-time cooperation, practice, service or education. Prior honorees include Rex Shenefield, and long-time OSU Extension Agent John Rice

The half-mile wetland trail at the Conservation Area will be named the Joe Bolin Prairie and Wetland Trail. Bolin was also recognized with a proclamation from Ohio Secretary of State John Husted.

Johnson recognized as Conservation Teacher of the Year

Krista Johnson, a seventh and eighth-grade science teacher at Eastern Middle School was recognized as the Meigs SWCD Conservation Teacher of the Year by Jenny Ridenour, Meigs SWCD education coordinator. Johnson created a media program that produces an in-house daily news show as well as a program that serves over 50 students a year in promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She started the Eastern Middle School’s Science Olympiad program and has served as the coach and advisor since its creation. The Science Olympiad team has taken home numerous individual

medals, as well as teams taking both second and third place at the 2018 regional competition and qualifying for state competition where they competed at the Ohio State University.

Land judging awards

Ridenour also recognized the county’s top land judging teams and individuals following last month’s land judging competition at the Meigs SWCD Conservation Area. Nine Vocational Agriculture students from Southern and eight students from Meigs participated in addition to 48 students from Alexander and Federal Hocking schools.

High-scoring individuals in the Agricultural Judging contest were Nicholas Aguilar, Southern, first place; Zachary Williams, Meigs, second place; Michael Kesterson, Meigs, third place. The top scoring team was from Southern and included Nicholas Aguilar, Colton Hamm, Gage Stover, and Mallory Stover.

High scoring individuals in the Urban judging contest were, from first to third: Raeven Reedy, Austin Rose, and Austin Colburn, all from Southern. The top scoring team was from Southern and included Raeven Reedy, Austin Rose, Austin Colburn, and Tyler Day.

Satterfield named Cooperator of the Year

Jack Satterfield, Langsville, was named the 2018 Cooperator of the Year by NRCS district conservationist Carrie Crislip for outstanding stewardship by managing his 157-acre forest in accordance to his Forest Stewardship Plan.

Satterfield began his cooperation with the agencies in 2010 with his first Environmental Quality Incentives Program agreement and completed 36 acres of Forest Stand Improvement within the first year. Also known as, Crop Tree Release, this practice is aimed at removing unmarketable trees from competing with desirable trees. This not only increases the productivity of the woodland, but also improves wildlife habitat, she said.

In 2012, Satterfield agreed to complete additional practices on his land, and completed two brush management treatments on nearly 17 acres. The goal of this practice was to effectively treat Tree of Heaven which had been identified by the Service Forester. Multiple treatments were completed within less than two years of entering into an agreement with NRCS.

Satterfield also participates in the Conservation Security Program which helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation enhancement activities, she said. Participants in CSP are our top performers, those landowners who have done an outstanding job towards the conservation of our natural resources. Through CSP, five acres of Upland Forest Wildlife Structures have been created to enhance wildlife habitat. This included maintaining snag/den trees and creating brush piles. This past year, two acres of forest openings were completed to provide structural diversity and early successional habitat for wildlife.

Aside from contractual work completed through NRCS programs, the Satterfields have cooperated with the ODNR-Division of Forestry, she added. Our records indicate a Forest Stewardship Plan has been in place for at least 20 years and this property has been certified under the Ohio Forest Tax Law. This landowner has worked with three service foresters to maintain active forest management plans throughout the years.

Staff Report