Conservation efforts honored

CORTLAND — Those who work to help the environment through conservation efforts were recognized by the Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District at the 67th annual awards meeting.

According to Amy Reeher, director of TSWCD, the event held at the Trumbull Agriculture and Family Education Center honors those who have made contributions to the soil and conservation:

• Bristol High School science / math teacher Rebecca Dobson was named ”Educator of the Year” for her hands-on interactive learning in classrooms and involvement with Junior Envirothon, stream watch, and Penn-Ohio Watershed;

• Contractor Steve Neill of Hammond Construction, was named ”Contractor / Developer of Year” for his efforts to keep waterways safe with stormwater plans and conserving soil and water in connection with construction of new PK-8 school in Champion off state Route 45;

• Steve Gymober was named ”George Sharic Memorial Conservation Farmer of the Year” for making conservation practices a priority on his farm;

• Aaron and Melissa Miller of Miller Livestock were presented the ”Bill Penn Memorial Award” for use of conservation practices at their farm;

• John Teti was named ”Cooperator of the Year” for his conservation efforts at his farm.

Yvonne Lesicko, vice president of public policy of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, spoke on agricultural policies, noting she spends a lot of time working with soil and conservation districts.

She said by 2050, the world’s food production must double because there will be a lot more people needing food.

”People are interested in their food sources and care about this,” Lesicko said.

She said while farmers make up 2 percent of the state’s occupations, the public wants to see farmers be good stewards of the land.

Lesicko said in Trumbull County, there are 17 active dairy farms.

Election of officers to the district’s board of supervisors was also held. Mark Bockelman and Michael Paquet were elected to three-year terms.

Reeher said accomplishments this past year included the construction of a new outdoor conservation education classroom, which has been used by the Envirothon.

SWCDs are independent political subdivisions of state government organized along county boundaries providing technical assistance to urban and rural land users.

Each $1 approved by the Trumbull County commissioners equals $3.08 return of outside sources of funds coming into Trumbull County.