LONDON, Ohio – The five families honored with the 2021 Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards each have their own approach to soil, water and natural resource conservation, but they all share an interest in improving their lands for future generations. .
Laura Frase, who accepted one of this year’s awards on behalf of her parents, Clifford and Jeannine Miller, said she saw the difference her parents made on their farm. Although his father passed away in March, his efforts continue to benefit the Carroll County family farm and their community.
âHow we spend our energy matters,â she said. “If we put our energy into conservation, that energy resonates in tall grass, delicate butterflies, fat calves and sparkling water.”
By accepting the award, Ms. Frase encouraged farmers to make their own efforts to better manage their natural resources. âIf Dad was there he would challenge you to continue using conservation on your own farms. “
Everyone has a role to play, she added. “We are all in the same boat and we are working for a better world for our children.”
The 2021 Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards were presented in a ceremony on September 23 at the Farm Science Review near London, Ohio.
The awards program is sponsored by Ohio Farmer Magazine, the Federation of Ohio Agricultural Bureau, the Federation of Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Natural Resource Conservation Service of the Department of United States Agriculture and the Soil and Water Conservation Division of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Each of the five winning families received a plaque and a check for $ 400 from the Ohio Farm Bureau.
Since the inception of the awards program in 1984, 191 families have been recognized for their conservation practices, as well as for their efforts to share their experiences with other farmers and members of their communities.
In addition to the Millers, this year’s winners include the Sluss family of County Stark, the Harrod family of Darke County, the Linne family of Highland County and the Rodabaugh family, who operate a farm in Hardin and Hardin counties. Hancock.
Grazing season extenders
Clifford and Jeannine Miller worked together at Miller Ridge Farm for 40 years. After retiring from his off-farm work in 2001, Clifford focused his energy on improving their 167 acres of pasture so he could graze cattle most of the year. They divided their pastures into 32 paddocks and used intensive managed grazing to extend the grazing season. He and Jeannine also used funding from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, or EQIP, and the Conservation Stewardship Program to improve water quality and manage the wooded areas of the farm.
Clifford was a founding member of the Eastern Ohio Grazing Council and a member of the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation District Council for 12 years. The Millers shared their conservation experience by organizing pasture walks and on-farm wood management programs.
Cover crop promoters
Sam and Lauren Sluss farm 275 acres in Stark and Carroll counties, producing no-till corn, wheat, soybeans and hay. Each fall, they plant about 200 of their crop acres to cover the crops.
The couple went out of their way to promote cover crops by hosting a stop at the Stark Soil and Water Conservation District cover crop day. They are both fourth generation farmers in County Stark and they are raising a fifth generation on their farm: their son Owen, 4, and daughter Aliana, 2.
Holistic herb feeders
Jim and Sheryl Linne, owners of White Clover Farms in Highland County, converted their 300 acres of conventional farmland to pasture for their grass-fed beef business. They use holistic management to continually improve their soils and use a prescribed grazing schedule to maximize the productivity of their pastures.
The Linnes are working with the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District to organize grazing schools and farm tours highlighting the conservation practices they have adopted.
The Harrod family, from Darke County, worked to find better ways to use manure as fertilizer by applying it to growing crops. Studies conducted by the family in cooperation with researchers at Ohio State University show that pig manure injected during the growing season can replace commercial fertilizers. The family includes Tom and Jayne Harrod, who farm with their son, Korey, and Korey’s wife, Brittany. His son-in-law Sean Gerber also helps part time on the farm.
The family raises around 20,000 fattening pigs each year and also operates two turkey starter barns. They cultivate 1,200 acres of cropland, growing no-till soybeans and corn, which is used as feed for pigs. About 300 acres are planted to cover crops each fall.
Long term no tillage
Chris and Gail Rodabaugh, who operate a farm with two of their sons, Clint and Cody, have been practicing no-till for over 30 years. They cultivate about 1,200 acres in Hardin and Hancock counties, producing corn and soybeans. They also use cover crops on a portion of their land each year and have enrolled around 130 acres in conservation programs to build waterways, wetlands, tree plantations, and buffer zones for habitat. quail.
In addition to helping out on the farm, Clint and Cody also operate a custom slaughterhouse and retail meat store, Rodabaugh Meats.
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