Grammers earn Mahoning SWCD honor

CANFIELD, Ohio – Bill and Debbie Grammer of North Benton received this year’s Goodyear Conservation Farmer of the Year award from the Mahoning Soil and Water Conservation District.

The award was presented to the Grammers Nov. 14 during the district’s annual banquet at McMahon Hall/Mill Creek Metro Park Experimental Farm in Canfield.

The Grammer farm has been involved with conservation practices since the mid 1960s. Currently milking more than 200 Jerseys, the Grammers recently used the services of the NRCS and Mahoning SWCD in the design and construction of a livestock waste holding pond.

The family has also implemented many other conservation practices including grassed waterways, an erosion control structure, filter strip, tiling and a waste management plan.

Bill and Debbie are the parents of two sons, Bill Jr. and Benjamin. Debbie is employed by the Farm Credit Service in Alliance.

Jim Elze, service forester with the Ohio Division of Forestry, presented the Woodland Owner award to Fred and Donna White of Damascus, Goshen Township.

The Whites purchased 93 acres in 1964, with 30 acres of the land being a neglected woodlot. In 1965, they established a timber stand improvement plan with the Division of Forestry. The stand now contains more than 20 species of hardwoods.

Over the years, these trees have provided the wood for the construction of several outbuildings, a large addition on the 1819 farmhouse, a two-car garage and numerous pieces of period furniture.

The White have also created many footpaths, spaced 150 feet apart, which are used by the family for recreational purposes and make management of the woodlot much easier.

Receiving the Partner in Conservation award was J.T. Whitehouse of the Town Crier newspapers. Whitehouse has been instrumental in media representation of the many programs and activities conducted by the Mahoning SWCD.

Kay Sternagle, a fifth grade teacher at Western Reserve Middle School, received the Conservation Teacher of the Year Award. Sternagle has participated in many classroom conservation activities including the enviroscape, and has promoted conservation to her students over the years.

Elected to serve a three-year term on the board of supervisors was incumbent Hugh Stacy Jr. of Poland Township. Stacy raises com and soybeans on the 500 acres he owns and rents and is active in the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association. Also elected was Matt Mesaros of Austintown, an environmental consultant.

They join members Roger Greenawalt, Gary Ruggles Jr. and Brenda Myers.

A variety of educational exhibits featuring projects and programs of the Mahoning SWCD and AWARE were displayed at the banquet.

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