Monroe SWCD and county commissioners form new partnership

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Soil and Water Districts across the state work with other organizations on a daily basis. Our partnerships are one of the most valuable aspects of our agencies.

When the Monroe County auditor needed assistance with inspecting properties on the Current Agricultural Use Value program, a partnership was formed with the Soil and Water District.

For the past ten years, we have been working on initial inspections and inspecting Forest Stewardship Plans. We were the first district to have such an agreement. Since then some other counties have followed.

Job opening

With the vacancy in the position of county apiarist, the commissioners sought an individual for the position. However, they did not find much interest for the $700 per year position.

After some time, the commissioners were in need of someone to take over the position. After some hypothetical scenarios were discussed, the county commissioners asked if the Soil and Water District would take over the responsibility of apiarist.

There were factors that made this partnership a no-brainer. Dave Schott of the Monroe Soil and Water District is a beekeeper himself. Due to his interest and the increased number of beekeepers in the county, a bee keepers group was formed. They have been meeting monthly for almost two years.

Home visits

Many of the landowners who are beekeepers are also farmers, who we visit to deliver rental equipment, investigate crop damage or complete CAUV checks on their properties

It is more cost effective to have Dave inspect bee hives when he is already on the property.

Through guidance from ODA, Dave is now completing inspections and answering questions raised by local beekeepers. This is just an example of how one district has worked cooperatively with another agency to deliver convenient, cost effective services to our constituents.

Check with your local SWCD to see how they work with others.

About the Author

Tammy Jones has been the Program Manager for the Monroe Soil & Water Conservation District since 2003. She has an Associate’s Degree in applied business from Belmont Technical College and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree from Wheeling Jesuit University. Tammy can be reached at (740) 472-0833 or tj.mswcd@yahoo.com More Stories by Tammy Jones

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