From left, Don Smith, Larry and Betsy Moore, Barbara Sinn, Kathy and Steve Frankenburg (front) and Michel family (back).

Farmers honored for conservation efforts

Buckeye Farm News

Five farm families were honored for their long-standing dedication to natural resource conservation during ceremonies at the Farm Science Review. The annual award is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Soil and Water Resources, Ohio Farmer magazine and Ohio Farm Bureau.

The program recognizes farm families for their exemplary efforts of conserving soil, water, woodlands, wildlife and other natural resources on the land they farm.

In addition to receiving $400 each from Ohio Farm Bureau, the families also are featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer and receive plaques from Hancor Inc. Ohio Farmer has sponsored the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards since the program’s inception.

Families honored

Barbara Sinn operates a diverse farm in Defiance County. Major crops include corn and soybeans. Conservation techniques used include no-till, crop rotation, filter strips, grassed waterways, windbreaks and 10 acres of wetland restoration. Barbara has been a district cooperator for nine years, and her late father, Vance Sinn, was a district cooperator for 47 years before her.

Donald Smith farms more than 1,900 acres in Portage County. Major crops include soybeans, corn, wheat and hay. Cattle also are raised. To reduce erosion problems in the crop fields and pastures, Don has installed 3,000 feet of grassed waterways, three livestock heavy-use areas and has reseeded more than 20 acres of pasture. Additional conservation techniques being utilized include following a grazing management plan, crop rotation and no-till. Don has been a district cooperator for more than 24 years and is also a member of Ohio Farm Bureau.

The Michel Family (Don, Paul, Gene, Dennis and Nancy Peck) farm more than 1,300 acres in Muskingum County that includes crops, pasture and cattle. The Michels have installed numerous conservation techniques over the years, including: three animal waste storage facilities, roof runoff management at two sites, installing 18,800 feet of subsurface drainage, spring development, grassed filter strips, no-till, conservation tillage and cover crops. The Michels assisted the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) with the 2007 Elected Officials Tours by providing a stop for Muskingum County elected officials, as well as state Sen. Joy Padgett.

Steve and Kathy Frankenberg farm more than 440 acres in Shelby County. Major crops include corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Dairy cows also are raised. Conservation techniques include conservation tillage, cover crops, no-till, grassed waterways, filter strips and windbreaks. Steve has worked with a forester to manage timber for sale and improve the existing timber stand. They also have worked with the district in developing a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan for their farm. Other practices include 2.7 acres of quail habitat to enhance wildlife and the installation of subsurface drainage.

Larry and Betsy Moore operate a diverse farm in Ross County. Major crops include corn, wheat, beans and hay. Conservation practices utilized include no till, crop rotation, grassed waterways and both grass and forested filter strips. Fencing has been installed to prevent livestock from entering streams and woodlots. Management techniques utilized on the 80-acre woodlots include grapevine control, crop tree release, select harvesting and seeding log roads to grass and legumes for hiking and running trails.

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