LONDON, Ohio – A Mahoning County farming family was one of five farms honored during the 30th annual Conservation Farm Family Awards program held at the Farm Science Review.
Five families from Mahoning, Guernsey, Clermont, Brow and Auglaize counties were honored for their commitment to the conservation of natural resources and water quality.
The families receiving the award were: Lou and Deb Brown and Alan and Ruth Brown from Auglaize County; Harold and Maureen Campbell from Mahoning County; Randy and Marijane Raber from Guernsey County; Daniel Weber from Clermont County; and Brad and Susan Barber from Brown County.
Lou and Deb Brown and Alan and Ruth Brown farm more than 200 acres in Auglaize County. Their major crops are corn, soybeans and wheat, and they also raise dairy cows.
The conservation practices on their farm include no-till, cover crops, crop rotation, grassed waterways and filter strips. They have also restored a wetland on the farm and installed controlled drainage structures.
The Browns are also participating in the ADAPT network, which will perform research on their farm regarding proper nutrient management.
Harold and Maureen Campbell farm more than 600 acres in Mahoning County. Their main crops are hay and oats, and they raise cattle.
The conservation practices on their farm include no-till, cover crops, crop rotation, grassed waterways, filter strips, contour strips and livestock exclusion fencing. A 2-acre wetland has been restored on the farm.
The Campbell family hosted the 2012 District FFA Land Judging Career Development Event and has also mentored the Jackson Milton FFA for 25 years to prepare them for the Envirothon and soils contests.
Randy and Marijane Raber farm more than 2,500 acres in Guernsey County. They grow corn, beans, hay, and they raise cattle.
Their conservation practices utilized include no-till, cover crops, grassed waterways, filter strips and contour strips. A 100-acre wetland has been restored on the farm. Livestock exclusion fencing has been installed to prevent cattle from entering streams.
Other conservation measures include rotational grazing, access roads, heavy use pads, nutrient management, critical area seeding and cool season plantings.
Daniel Weber farms 120 acres in Clermont County and raises cattle, sheep and poultry. Conservation techniques include livestock exclusion fencing, rotational grazing, automatic waters and hydrants for water access in all fields. He reseeded the crop field down to a grass/clover mix and has been doing intensive rotational grazing.
He rotates cows, chickens and sheep through the same fields and has been able to maximize forage use and improve forage quality.
Weber was named the Clermont SWCD 2012 Cooperator of the Year, and he has been working with OSU Extension on a grass measurement study each year to determine forage yields.
Brad and Susan Barber farm more than 2,000 acres in Brown County. Their primary crops include corn, soybeans and wheat.
To address soil erosion and water quality issues on the farm, the Barbers worked with the local SWCD and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to install grassed waterways, rock chutes and cover crops. By 2013, 90 percent of the row crop plantings on the farm have been no-till.
In addition to receiving $400 from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the families are featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer magazine and receive plaques from Hancor Inc.
The Conservation Farm Family Award program was sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Soil and Water Resources, Ohio Farmer magazine, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Hancor Inc.
Since its inception in 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Award has recognized 156 Ohio farm families.