The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts' 69th annual conference, "Conservation and Community: Together 4 Life!" took place last week at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus.
This year's event was developed by the Ohio Association of Soil and Water Conservation District Employees and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Soil and Water Resources, and drew 400 conservation leaders, partners, educators, local leaders, business owners and many more individuals who promote conservation stewardship in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the impacts conservation measures have on the community.
Trumbull County SWCD supervisors Jan Solomon, Davis Denman, Richard Houk, Bruce Lev and Peter Kepner along with SWCD staff members Amy Reeher, Kelly Hardval, Jacob Gore, Marcus Hollenbank and Administrator Mike Wilson attended this event.
The OFSWCD announced that Hall Farms was this year's major event sponsor. For more than 50 years, Hall Farms' partnership with soil and water conservation districts has grown strong. Today, Hall Farms is a premier manufacturer of straw blankets and straw wattles in the Midwest. Hall Farms products can be purchased from local distributors or delivered direct from the farm.
Products that we are seeing for erosion and sediment control for both agricultural and development use are recognized by the EPA as Best Management Practices for the ability to capture and retain sediment. The devices are straw-filled battles and blankets. The battles look like hoops which are able to be curved for angles and are wrapped with bendable, biodegradable netting which eliminates the need for retrieval of materials after the straw breaks down over time. The blankets are great for hillsides and covering large portions of land and last about a year.
Hall Farms is also excited to announce their Educational Grant Program, where for every straw blanket sold within the county, they will provide educational grant money directly to that county's Soil and Water Conservation District.
I've always been an advocate to support those businesses which support the groups I've been associated with and the Hall farms products would be a good fit with many of our farmers here in Trumbull County.
Many of the workshops dealt with the oil and gas drilling industry as well as alternative fuel issues. Panel speakers included Tom Stewart, president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association; Scott Potter with the office of Energy and Environment at The Ohio State University; and Sam Spofforth with Clean Fuels Ohio. Jeff Moore of Kurtz/ Quasar spoke on anaerobic digestion for bio waste, bio fuels and composting.
These conferences are a great way for the SWCD, its volunteer boards and staff to gain more information as we prepare for the future of our resources in our valley.
Mike Wilson is the executive director of the Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District and is a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau.