The 72nd annual banquet of the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) was held Monday, Nov. 21, at SourcePoint. It was a celebration of the many conservation efforts that have been put forth by local community members.
Bret Bacon, Delaware SWCD Conservation Services Coordinator, acknowledged those who installed various soil saving conservation practices on their land in 2016 such as grass waterways, cover crops, bioreactor, high tunnels, and no-till. An outdoor sign to identify the location of the practices were provided to Larry Ufferman, Eric Niemeyer, Darin Skinner, Mike Hope for Triken Farms, Matt Lanum, Brian Skinner, Jim Sherman, and Jim Paxton.
Scott Stephens, Administrator with the Delaware SWCD, presented the Ufferman Family with the 2016 Cooperator of the Year award. Larry and Debbie Ufferman have built on a tradition of conservation started by Larry’s parents, James and June Ufferman.
The family has dedicated its efforts to improving water quality and conserving soil through no-till pasture and crop planting, crop rotations, drainage and erosion control practices, as well as a beautiful farm pond that became the back drop for more than few pond management clinics over the years.
In addition to the farming commitment to conservation, James also served as an SWCD board member for 17 years and Larry retired from the Delaware SWCD after more than 30 years of employment. Larry and Debbie recently built two high tunnels and are operating a community supported agriculture program.
Additional awards were presented by Dona Rhea, Delaware SWCD Conservation Educator. Derrek Shively and Mike Stoneking accepted the 2016 Conservation Booster Award on behalf of the Cabela’s Polaris store. For the past four years Shively and Stoneking shared their expertise in outdoor cooking at the SWCD’s fair park during the Delaware County Fair.
The 2016 Conservation Educator award was given to Sarah Zettler, English and literature teacher at Olentangy High School for incorporating conservation and community service with her junior and senior classes. Her students designed vertical banners explaining how to reduce nonpoint source pollution, participated in storm water stenciling, and gave presentations to elementary students.
Carolyn Watkins, Chief of the Division of Environmental Education at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, presented Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District with an Outstanding Project Award. This accolade was for the District’s project under the Ohio Environmental Education Fund to create an inflatable soil tunnel and develop education materials to support the tunnel’s use at schools and public events.
Dona Rhea was the grant writer for the program and accepted the award on the SWCD’s behalf.
Attendees were treated to a very informative program by Delaware Municipal Court Judge Marianne Hemmeter and voting was conducted for two supervisors to the Delaware SWCD Board of Supervisors. Sue Cunningham and Ted Colflesh were re-elected to three year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
The annual banquet was supported with financial contributions from Bret Davis Seeds, Fling Insurance, Farm Credit Mid-America, and Hancor. For more on the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District, visit www.delawareswcd.org.
Information for this story was provided by the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District.