07 Mar 2016

Celebrating 60 Years of Conservation for Crawford County…

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Conservation District Chairman Robert Waddell served as Master of Ceremonies, for the Crawford County Conservation District’s Annual Luncheon held February 18, 2016 at the Italian Civic Club in Meadville with 145 people in attendance
Special Awards were presented following the dinner.

Charlie and Cathy Vorisek of Vorisek’s Backyard Bee Farm LLC were awarded the Conservation Educator of the Year plaque. Presenting the award on behalf of the Conservation District, Environmental Educator Kathy Uglow complemented the Vorisek’s for their work educating on beekeeping and the challenges of keeping bees alive and healthy as well as about how bees help pollinate fruits, vegetables and many farm crops.                                          

This year’s award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Conservation Farming was presented to John and Amy Bridger of Cambridge Springs. The award, presented by Jody Lasko, District Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, is given by the Conservation District to a farm operation that has employed Conservation Best Management Practices to conserve soil and protect water quality. Ms. Lasko cited the many Best Management Practices installed on the Bridger farm and their williningness to open their farm to area students for planting trees and reestablishing riparian areas along waterways.

Maria Dreese, Senior Resource Conservation Technician for the Conservation District, presented Certificates of Accomplishment to Supervisors from Athens, Bloomfield, Cambridge, Conneaut, Cussewago, Fairfield, Greenwood, Hayfield, Randolph, Richmond, Sadsbury, Summerhill, Troy, Venango, Wayne, and Woodcock Townships to acknowledge their successful completion of projects implemented with Dirt and Gravel Road grant funds. The funds provided by the Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads and the State Conservation Commission through the Crawford Conservation District aim to improve and stabilize dirt roads and reduce sedimentation of streams.

Service awards were presented to Sherman Allen (30 years), Sarah Sargent (8 years) and Scott Preston (4 years) for their service to the Conservation District Board. Additionally Ron McCorkle received a lapel pin for his 15 years of service to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Honorable Brad Roae and the Honorable Parke Wentling also presented certificates on behalf of the House of Representatives to the award winners.

The event concluded with a program entitled “Whole System Farming” presented by Russ Wilson of Wilson Land & Cattle Co. This 220 acre farm operated by Russ, his wife, and two children raises cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, and poultry in an economically viable way by applying adaptive management techniques. Russ utilizes intensive rotational grazing, among other practices to allow the farm to achieve its goals. Livestock is maintained on pasture as long as weather permits in order to reduce inputs, improve soil health, maintain livestock health, and produce a high quality product.