Columbiana SWCD salutes Estocks

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HANOVERTON, Ohio – Mike and Theresa Estock of Spring Valley Farm received the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District’s Cooperator of the Year award for 2001.

The honor was presented during the district’s annual meeting Nov. 7 at United Local High School near Hanoverton. The event also celebrated the district’s 60th anniversary.

The Estocks and their children, Mary, Patty and Mike Jr., maintain a flock of 20 ewes and farm approximately 100 acres of cropland and pasture, split between Knox and Butler townships. They follow a crop rotation of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and oats.

Since purchasing the farm in 1986, Mike Estock has worked with the district and other resources to develop multiple conservation practices, including installing sod waterways and developing a woodland improvement plan with state service forester Jim Elze.

They have installed a stock tank in the sheep pasture and erected fencing and installed filter strips to improve water quality. Crops, including alfalfa, are planted no-till to curb soil erosion.

The family has also worked to preserve the farm’s original buildings, adding new foundations and roofs to the barns and remodeling the farmhouse.

Community supporters. The Estock family is active in the community, including St. Joseph’s church in Maximo. Mike Estock is a volunteer with the North Georgetown Fire Department and is also a 4-H adviser and member of the sheep committee with the Stark County 4-H program. The children are active 4-H members, and have taken sheep, market steers, chickens and turkey livestock projects.

SWCD work. Pete Conkle, district program coordinator, reviewed the district’s accomplishments and priorities during fiscal year 2001. Landowners worked with the district’s technicians and corresponding technical assistants through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to conduct resources inventories and evaluations; complete nutrient management plans; install an animal waste structure; and install grassed waterways.

Farmers used the district’s no-till equipment through its rental program to seed nearly 1,300 acres. District assistance helped install 30 springs and water troughs.

The district also lent its expertise to 18 government units in a variety of projects.

Supervisor election. Richard Zehentbauer of Hanover Township was re-elected to the board of supervisors and Rhonda Simmons of Unity Township was elected to the board in the evening’s election. Retiring board chairman Ron Berger was thanked for his years of service.

A vocal group of United students called Pure of Heart provided the evening’s entertainment.

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