UOCD recognizes achievements at dinner
The Upper Ohio Conservation District held their annual recognition dinner Sept. 9 at the McKenna Pavilion in Proctor.
During the event the UOCD recognized the winners of various contest and reviewed some of the conservation activities in the district during the past year.
Twin Oaks Farm, owned by Kenneth and Linda Mercer, was named the District Farm of the Year. Called a “typical West Virginia hillside farm,” their operation is located in Tyler County. They will get an expense-paid trip to the annual conservation conference in Charleston, W.Va., in October. There the Mercers will get to see the bigger picture of conservation in the state.
This year, through the Agriculture Enhancement Program (AEP), a total of about $46,000 has been returned to farms in the UOCD service area-Wetzel, Tyler, and Pleasants counties. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) allocations in the local area totaled $126,100 in 2014. Among other things, lime application and equipment rental is available from the NRCS.
The Barney Knob Farm Field Day was held at the farm of Gary, Kathy, and Annie Hall. “There was a wealth of information there,” said Lauren Hobbs, soil conservation technician.
The district expressed their appreciation to Ace Home Center in New Martinsville for their continued support and to the Pine Grove Sportsmen’s Club. The latter was recognized as the Wetzel County winner in the farm competition.
They also thanked Elizabeth Higgins for her 24-and-a-half years of service to the UOCD Board of Supervisors. While she was unable to attend the dinner, she was honored at a reception for her the next day in St. Marys.
There were not any farms in the district that applied for the Century Farm award this year. A Century Farm is one that has been in continuous operation by the same family for 100 years or more.
A family member must live on the farm or be an integral part of the day-to-day operation of the farm enterprise. The farm must consist of at least 10 acres of the original holdings and gross more than $1,000 annually from farm products.
Also, this year the district did not have any Samara winners. The Samara test-50 multiple choice questions about conservation, is to be administered to sixth grade students. The top three individual scorers at each school are recognized with lapel pins and the top scorer receives $50.
The UOCD gave two scholarship during the past year. The recipients were Brooke Snyder and Alex VanCamp. However, they were unable to attend the dinner as they are currently putting the scholarships to use in college.
The scholarship is funded in part by the annual plant sale held in the spring and the auction held at the UOCD’s Christmas dinner. This year the dinner will be held on Dec. 4, also at the McKenna Shelter.
Organizers of the dinner thanked Colleen Rush for putting together the flower arrangements that were given away as door prizes. They also gave t-shirts as door prizes.
Finally, the UOCD encourages people to follow the Upper Ohio Conservation District on Facebook.