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UOCD recognizes achievements at dinner

By Staff | Oct 1, 2014

Linda and Kenneth Mercer’s Twin Oaks Farm was named the District Farm of the Year. They are pictured holding their recognition sign. UOCD?Supervisors pictured with them, from left, are Bill Gellner, Wayne McKeever, Allen Rush, Carroll Cumberledge, and Ronald Fletcher.

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.

Six campers from the UOCD attended Junior Conservation Camp. The event for ages 11 to 15 was held at Cedar Lakes near Ripley, W.Va. Two campers attended the UOCD Recognition Dinner: Jake Pennell and Clay Young. Not in attendance or pictured was Curtis Tedrow.

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.

Clayton Nice of Magnolia High School, represented by Colby Sidenstricker, pictured, was the top scorer in the Forestry Competition held in May. He received $100 from the UOCD.

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.

The UOCD’s land judging contest was held in May at Kenny Mason’s farm in Tyler City. The top three teams and individuals receive plaques. The top individual scorers from the district (some teams from outside the district participate) are awarded $100 each if they or a representative attend the dinner. Pictured are Laura Jochum representing Lacy Seckman of Tyler Consolidated High School, top scorer in the land judging competition, and Jacob Ueltschy of Valley High School was the top scorer in the homesite competition.

Joellen Witschey was named the Kindergarten-First Grade winner of the UOCD’s poster contest. She won $75 for her efforts. UOCD?Supervisors pictured with her, from left, are Bill Gellner, Wayne McKeever, Allen Rush, Ronald Fletcher, and Carroll Cumberledge.