PROGRESS: Ohio farm wins national award


DEGRAFF, Ohio – Bill and Susan Shultz were honored earlier this year as winners of the American Sheep Industry Association’s environmental stewardship award.

The Shultzes won the state-level award before moving on to the national level.

“We didn’t know anything about the nomination,” Bill Shultz said, noting friends and Ohio State University Extension specialists completed an application without their knowledge.

The Shultzes say their friends’ actions are “very much a compliment.”

Projects. Bill Shultz said the environmental projects he’s done on the farm “aren’t much different than what other Ohio farmers do or should do.”

He’s put in waterways, filter strips and fenced off the creek that runs through the property.

“We’re really trying to keep the animals out of the water. We’re still working on the water quality,” Shultz said.

Wetland. The couple have also decided to put 80 acres of their pastures and tillable ground into a wetland.

They’re planting hardwood trees on acreage they’re taking out of production.

“We really want our farm to be environmentally friendly. Plus, we really like trees,” Susan Shultz said.

They figure in 60 or 80 years, their great-great-grandchildren will harvest the seedlings they’ve put in.

Paying off. Bill Shultz said he believes in altruism in the world, that his selflessness will pay off in long-term benefits to those who will come after him.

And he’s taking a gamble on that, not knowing who may follow on his farm.

“Wealth is built over time and passed through the generations. Hopefully our son will be as lucky as we are,” Shultz said.

To read more about the Shultz farm, click here.


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