HANOVERTON, Ohio – The Harold Sanor family of North Georgetown received this year’s Goodyear Conservation Farmer of the Year award from the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District.
Jon Steele of Salem Tire presented the award on Goodyear’s behalf during the district’s annual banquet Nov. 2 at United Local High School.
Harold and Margaret Sanor operate a Holstein dairy farm in Knox Township with their son Grant and his wife Karen. Grant and Karen’s son Bryce represents the fifth generation of Sanors to work the farm. They milk approximately 50 cows.
In addition to the dairy, the family also taps 500 maple trees to make maple syrup during the winter.
Harold Sanor has been a cooperator with the district since 1963. During the last three years, the Sanors used district and NRCS technical assistance to design a diversion dike, grassed waterway and rock chute combination to prevent flooding of their barn and feedlot. They also added a spring development and fencing to provide an off-stream water source for the cows.
The Sanors have also moved to no-till planting, with approximately 90 percent of their acreage planted no-till. They have used the district’s rental no-till drill for many of those acres.
The SWCD also presented an Outstanding Woodland Owner award in cooperation with the Ohio Division of Forestry. ODNR Service Forester Jim Elze presented the award to David Wargo, who owns an 85-acre certified tree farm in Franklin Township.
Wargo, who recently added another 32 acres to his woodland holdings, planted nearly 10,000 trees on 30 acres throughout the 1990s and maintains an extensive trail system throughout the farm. In 1994, he conducted a 50-acre improvement timber harvest and has worked continually on improving existing stands by thinning young timber.
Kevin Swope, district program coordinator, reviewed the district’s activities during the past year.
Conservation education of all ages continues to be an emphasis, Swope said as he listed the numerous educational events the district personnel helped coordinate, particularly with children.
“It’s important that we continue to teach them about livestock and the products we’ve got here in Columbiana County,” he said. “They don’t have a clue what a bushel of corn looks like.”
“We try to teach them what they can do at home and around their house, so that everybody takes responsibility for conservation,” he added.
The district is also working more closely with the county health department on septic systems problems through an Ohio EPA water quality grant.
District and NRCS staff members assisted farmers and other landowners in writing conservation plans that encompass 2,048 acres within the county. Cooperators also established nearly 10,000 feet of conservation buffers and installed 12 acres of grassed waterways.
The past year was one of the busiest for rental of the district’s no-till grain drills. Swope said approximately 3,000 acres were planted with the drills.
Clint Finney, who is working with the district as its manure management intern, helped livestock producers with eight written plans, which cover 6,650 acres.
The district also houses Deb Frawley, who coordinates a grant-funded Beaver Creek Watershed program within the county. Frawley described the program, which covers water quality education throughout the watershed and the purchase of conservation easements along Little Beaver Creek, a state and national designated scenic river.
Scott Sanor of Butler Township was elected a new supervisor on the SWCD board. Sanor farms 146 acres in a family partnership and also does custom no-till planting and harvesting.