Jefferson SWCD honors Bratten, Clines

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Jefferson SWCD Conservation Farmer of the Year
Chuck and Amie Cline received the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District’s Conservation Farmer of the Year award, presented by state Sen. Lou Gentile (left).

WINTERSVILLE, Ohio — Several individuals were honored at Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District’s 72nd annual meeting and banquet held Oct. 5 at the St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.

Judy Bratten, executive director of Historic Fort Steuben and the Visitors Center, received the annual Distinguished Service Award for her efforts in promoting the positives of Jefferson County.

Bratten has partnered with the district to promote the local foods initiative, agri-tourism, and assisted in the leadership of the Community Investment Plan, a partnership for growth in Jefferson County.

Conservation farmer

Chuck and Amie Cline, and their children Blaine and Rachael, received the 2015 Conservation Farmer of the Year award.

The Clines own a 50-acre farm in Island Creek where they raise beef cattle, sheep and horses. They have implemented many conservation improvements that have helped transform the operation, and always seek new conservation information and ideas.

State Sen. Lou Gentile presented commendations to both of the award winners.

Jodee Straus Verhovec was elected to her fourth term on the board, defeating Paul D. Sweeney of Steubenville. She and her husband, Julius, raise Charolais cattle on her family farm in Smithfield.

Stephanie Vance, Mark Nelson, Dick Franckhauser, and Ken Perkins are also members on the board.

The Cub Scout Pack #401 and Boy Scout Troop #3, along with the Steubenville Catholic Central High School band members performed during the opening ceremonies. Dinner was provided by local producers and prepared and served by Piergallini Catering.

Year in review

This year’s banquet focused on youth education, and a video was shown to the guests highlighting some of the year’s activities.

The district’s educational programs spanned kindergarten through high school, and have included hands-on activities including hikes through the forest, collecting insects in the streams, analyzing the soils in a pit, rain garden and tree plantings.

Gary Bush and Mary Corder were this year’s photo contest winners.

It was announced next year’s river cruise aboard the Gateway Clipper will be taking place Sept. 10, and will feature speaker Chad Pregracke, founder of Living Lands and Water and author of From the Bottom Up: One Man’s Crusade to Clean America’s Rivers.

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