GEORGETOWN — The Brown County Soil and Water Conservation District held its 71st annual meeting on October 26 at Southern Hills Joint Vocational School, honoring students as well as local citizens.
The dinner and award ceremony was attended by a number of elected officials including State Representative Doug Green, State Senator Joe Uecker, Brown County Commissioner Daryll Gray, and Brown County Prosecutor Jessica Little. Gray read out a proclamation commemorating the event and the SWCD, and proclaiming October 26, 2015 as Conservation Day.
The meeting highlighted many of the programs put on for both youngsters and adults in Brown County to increase awareness of conservation and the local environment. Soil and Water financial clerk Carly Ratliff showed an extensive PowerPoint presentation revealing the work that was done over the past year, including the restoration of Solomon Run, a sub-tributary of the Little Miami River near St. Martin.
”We’ve had a very busy year,” SWCD District Manager and Technician Chris Rogers said. “We’ve got a lot of projects going on, we’ve done a lot of new programs and we’ve introduced a few new educational programs, including some different ones we’ve been working with on the youth. The youth is the future of what we do, and if we can get in the schools and teach these kids about what conservation is all about, that’s what we’re after.
“We’ve had a lot of coverage in the cover crop program, there’s a lot of people getting cost-share dollars to help install those. It’s been a great year for us just getting the word out about conservation.”
Among the honorees were a pair of students who had award winning science projects. Caroline Day, in the junior class, who is a student at St. Michael’s Parochial School, did a project on the affects of acid rain on limestone rock. Day advanced to not only the district science fair but also the state science day, where she finished in first place in the state in her grade category.
In the senior class, Rosie Dean, an eighth grade student at Hamersville Middle School, did a project on the efficiency of magnesium chloride for dust control in an equestrian arena. Dean also advanced to the district science fair.
Both students received a round of applause and a $25 gift card.
A few other folks were honored as well. Rudi Pitzer-Perry presented the Outstanding Cooperator Award to Brad and Susie Barber. Vice Chair of the SWCD Becky Cropper presented both the Ursulines of Brown County and retiring state forester Tim Wilson with the Friend of Conservation Award.
Education supervisor for the SWCD Aubrey Bolender presented Fred Scott with the Service Award.
During his speech, Green said that he is appreciative of what the SWCD is doing for the region.
“The farming community are the greatest caretakers of our ground, water, and air, of any group of industry in the country,” Green said. “Coming from this part of the country, I know that because I’ve seen it and experienced it.”
Rogers said that the most important message for Brown County citizens is that the district is there for them.
“If you’ve got something that’s conservation-oriented out on your farm or home, we’re there to help you accomplish that,” Rogers said. “If there’s a need that you have, stop by the office and talk to us. We’re there for the public to help with these projects.”