Agriculture highlighted at meeting

The Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District’s 63rd annual meeting was held in conjunction with the Holstein’s Association recently at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Cortland.

W. I. Miller and Sons of Gustavus was announced for the “Bill Penn Memorial Award,” which is the highest honor bestowed upon a citizen or family of Trumbull County for conservation.

The award is named after Bill Penn who was the District Conservationist for 25 years. Mr. Penn died shortly after his retirement, and the SWCD Board named the award after him in 1982.

The 2013 “George Sharec Memorial Farmer of the Year” award sponsored by Farm Credit Services went to Swartz Farm in Fowler.

George Sharec passed away in May of 2008. He is survived by his wife of 55 years and lifelong best friend Ruth. In both 1976 and in 1998 the Sharecs were named as the Outstanding Conservation Farmers by the Trumbull SWCD. The award was named after him in 2009.

Larry Wynkoop of Newton Falls was named the SWCD Volunteer of the Year for his efforts with the SWCD’s events during the year.

Duane Logan was recognized as the SWCD’s Conservationist of the Year for 2013. He is well versed in land management and conservation issues and is very accessible to the agriculture and environmental community.

Marla Dull of Liberty Schools received the Conservation Educator of the Year for her development of the Spider Fest in Liberty.

Todd Kandel of Dominion East Ohio was named as the Conservation Contractor- Developer of the Year.

The SWCD also recognized a business which followed the SWCD mission and goals as the Cooperator of the Year which went to BP America for their use of conservation techniques in the oil and gas industry. Curtis Thomas was in attendance to receive the award.

During the meeting an election took place for one Trumbull SWCD Supervisor board position and Michael Paquet of Warren was elected to a three-year term beginning in 2014.

Five residents of Trumbull County are elected as SWCD supervisors by residents and land owners to serve staggered three-year terms as volunteer unpaid public officials.

The banquet speakers were Christina Perry of 30 Mile Meals, promoting local foods, as well as Holly Maggiano of Earth Angel Farm, who discussed the agricultural programs for this non-profit organization. Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda also spoke on the accomplishments of the Trumbull SWCD over the past few years.

The Trumbull SWCD is a political subdivision of the state of Ohio. In the late 1940s, more than 70 percent of voters in Trumbull County approved by referendum for the establishment of a Soil and Water Conservation District which was formed in 1950.

The SWCD receives funding from the county commissioners, townships, and municipalities, with the State of Ohio matching the local funds.

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources provide additional resource assistance.

Mike Wilson is the executive director of the Trumbull Soil / Water Conservation District and is an associate member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau.