The Crawford Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) celebrated 70 years of conservation at the Sept. 15 annual meeting. The SWCD and Crawford County Farm Bureau held a combined meeting this year. The meeting featured a dinner, Farm Bureau elections and business program, the SWCD supervisor election, voting for natural resource priorities, the outstanding cooperator award presentation, affiliate members and past supervisor recognitions. The featured speaker, Hans Kok, is an agricultural conservation consultant from Indiana and a native of The Netherlands. He presented a humorous and very interesting program comparing agriculture in the United States with his native country. A combined slide show featured the SWCD historical photos as well as this past year’s activities; the Farm Bureau featured this past year’s activities.
The outstanding cooperator award was presented to Bob & Monica Finney of Finney Farms located in Jackson Township. They have been cooperators since 2007. Their conservation accomplishments include no-till, minimum tillage, a manure storage structure, drainage water management, ditch maintenance in cooperation with a neighbor, grass waterways, a comprehensive nutrient management plan, a SWCD whole farm conservation plan, fertilizer and fuel containment.
Andrew Eichhorn of Polk Township was elected to the Crawford SWCD Board of Supervisors for a three year term beginning January 1, 2016. Supervisors are public officials responsible to the people of Crawford County. They serve in a voluntary capacity and are responsible for directing the activities, programs, and financial resources of the Crawford SWCD.
The district also thanked the affiliate members for their donations to the district for conservation programs, and recognized the contributions and leadership of the 49 individuals who served the Crawford Soil and Water Conservation District as board members over the past 70 years.
Meeting participants were given three tokens and asked to vote for the top conservation priorities that the soil and water district should focus on in the future. People voted by dropping a token into jars labeled with conservation and natural resource issues. The number of votes each of the natural resource issues received are as follows: Cover Crops – 41, Outreach and Education – Field Days, Workshops, etc.- 37, Drainage Water Management -tile control structures – 33, Soil Erosion Control structures (grassed waterways, rock chutes, etc.) – 30, Nutrient Management Planning to reduce nutrient losses – 24, No-till/conservation tillage leaving high amounts of residue – 23, Excessive surface water runoff from crop fields – 18, Soil compaction reduction practices – 13, USDA Program Technical Assistance – 9, Blind Tile Inlets – reducing nutrient losses from cropland depressions – 9, Alternative Grants/Funding Sources – 7, Nutrient Placement – In row, banding, foliar feeding – 7.