MILLERSBURG, Ohio — As part of a civil penalty imposed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Guggisberg Cheese Inc. will provide $50,000 in funding to administer and install conservation practices in the Doughty Creek watershed to improve water quality.
The program will be administered by the Ohio State University in cooperation with Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District.
The district will be the contact for landowners for questions about participating, and will work one-on-one with farmers on the projects.
The funding priorities are fencing livestock from the creek and installing buffers. Other practices may be funded depending on the level of interest.
The highest ranking projects will receive $1.50 per foot for fencing and a minimum of $600 per acre for buffers in crop fields.
Buffers must be a minimum of 20 feet wide and a maximum of 120 feet wide.
A farmer must be willing to leave the buffer in hay for five years and follow nutrient application setbacks. The landowner will be required to sign a contract that agrees to leave all practices in place for five years.
Anyone interested in this program may contact the district before April 1 at 330-674-SWCD or 330-674-2811. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.