More than 200 people attended the 64th annual Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District meeting when it was held Saturday, December 7, in the American Legion Post 97 home in Cardington.
Following the fish dinner served by members of Post 97, the diners were entertained by the Muleskinner Band, whose music had the crowd tapping their toes and their comedic lines bringing whoops of laughter.
The highlight of the program was the presentation of the Conservation Cooperator of the Year Award which was made to John and Dedra Hall and their family of County Road 153, Cardington.
In the absence of their parents, the award was accepted by Danell, Lauren and Marissa Hall.
Jay Smith, who presented the award noted that each year since 1974, the Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District has honored an outstanding conservation cooperator for their efforts by applying sound conservation practices to improve the soil and water resources.
Smith said this year’s award recipient has installed several conservation practices through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service-Environmental Quality Incentive Program or better known as EQIP. These practices include a heavy use area using geotextile cloth and stone, a livestock watering facility, an access road, a system for watering livestock, pasture plantings and fencing.
The Halls have a small beef cow herd where they enjoy raising and showing their own livestock.
The Halls were given a cooperator ID sign, a jacket and a poinsettia.
Jim Meimer announced the scholarship winners as Kyle Hack, who received the Don McGinnis award and Mariah Carey, the Steve Ruhl scholarship. Each is a $500 stipend. Both recipients are students at ATI Wooster, Hack, a freshman and Carey, a sophomore.
The Affiliate Membership presentations were made by Dan Barker, the program administrator. They are Crop Production Services, Edison; Ag Credit, Mount Gilead branch, Morral Companies, Caledonia; Broerman Insurance Agency, Fredericktown; Central Ohio Farmers Co-op; Mount Gilead branch; Tidy Tim’s Inc., Mount Gilead; Farm Credit Services of Mid-America; Carroll and Jeannine Gleason, Chesterville and POET Bio-refining, Marion.
Barker also reviewed the SWCD highlights with the help of videos.
Clark Hutson announced the winners of the supervisors election as Tom Clark and Robert Wuertz, Jr.
Others participating were Mike Sayers, who gave the welcome; Richard Miller, who offered the invocation; and Robert Wuertz, Jr., who made the introductions.
Door prizes were announced by Sayers.
Acknowledgment and thanks were made the Morrow County commissioners, Tom Harden, Miller and Tom Whiston.
The board of supervisors is comprised of Robert Wuertz, Jr., chairman; Jim Meimer, vice chairman; Jay Smith, secretary; Mike Sayers, treasurer and Tom Clark, member.
SWCD personnel include Barker, Erika Murray, administrative assistant; Judy Strine, executive secretary who retired in August and Seth Goodwin, summer intern
Nathan Rice was the NRCS district conservationist through November, 2013.
The dairy products available at this banquet were provided by the Morrow County Dairy association.