KENSINGTON, Ohio – Nearly 80 people gathered in a hilltop cattle loafing shed on Earl McKarns’ Carroll County Farm last week to see the grazier inducted into the county’s conservation hall of fame.
McKarns and his family’s efforts were lauded by the Carroll Soil and Water Conservation District as part of the group’s annual meeting.
It’s about education. Before the business meeting, McKarns, along with his son, Dan, and nephew, John, shuttled farm visitors in hay wagons across the paddocked property.
Along the way, they explained their grazing methods and how they fit into soil and water conservation.
McKarns and his wife, Nedra, have been farming since 1957, first as dairy producers and then converting completely to purebred Angus seedstock. Today’s grass-based operation consists of approximately 400 head of calves, cows and heifers on about 400 acres, McKarns said.
McKarns is a past SWCD supervisor, and has held positions on the county’s Farm Service Agency and Extension advisory committees, as well as leading its dairy and cattlemen’s associations.
“I’ve never been one who’s much for awards, but this one I can really appreciate,” McKarns said. “We don’t graze to protect the soil and work for clean water to get handed a plaque. We do it to make a living, and to make our farm, community and country better.”
On hand to help McKarns accept the award were his wife, Nedra; son Dan and his daughter, Bailey; and daughter Laura and her husband, Dan Raybourne.
McKarns is the 14th inductee in the county’s hall of fame since 1987.
Successful year. David Hanselmann, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Soil and Water Conservation Division, attended to congratulate the district’s staff and cooperators on another successful year.
Hanselmann said the staff is particularly effective at finding federal and state resources available to county farmers and landowners, and using them to formulate plans to meet those cooperators’ needs.
Hanselmann also recognized district supervisor Sandy Perdue for 12 years of volunteer service.
Envirothon. The Carrollton High School Envirothon team was highlighted for its second-place district finish, which advanced the young people to state competition. It was the first time a Carrollton team had qualified for the state contest.
At the state level competition at the University of Findlay in June, the team took third place and was the top rookie team.
Team members were John Neider, Austin Kirk, Quinn Miller, Melanie Vance and Jesse Roof.
Elections. Supervisors elected for three-year terms were newcomer Barbara Devitt and incumbent Brad Ocel.
Supervisors include Perdue, chair; Bryan Burgett, vice chair; Ocel, secretary; Vernon Cummings, fiscal agent; and Henry Moore, treasurer.
(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 800-837-3419 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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