CORTLAND, Ohio — The Trumbull County Soil and Water Conservation District held its annual meeting Dec. 5 and honored several for their contributions to conserving the county’s natural resources.
Cooperator of Year
The Trumbull County Cooperator of Year was awarded to the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.
Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership is a nonprofit Community Development Corporation serving the neighborhoods of Warren, Ohio. The mission of partnership is to empower residents and promote sustainable community development.
The organization recently partnered with Trumbull SWCD and the Trumbull County Land Bank to incorporate urban agriculture into Warren neighborhoods. They have promoted best management practices in this arena and are working to transform neighborhoods into places people are willing to invest their time, money and energy.
The district honored the Garry Kibler and Kibler Dairy Farm, of Lordstown, with the George Sharec Memorial Conservation award.
Kibler has implemented agricultural best management practices and has exemplified Sharec’s vision of sustainable agriculture. He has also participated in the farm foliage tour as well as the Explore World Dairy Expo. Kibler’s sons help run the farm, and there is hope that the generation that follows will keep the farm in the family.
The Bill Penn Memorial Award was bestowed upon the longtime conservationist Ruth Sharec. She carries a legacy of sustainable agriculture and community involvement shared by her late husband, George.
Mrs. Sharec hosted the annual Farm Foliage Tour even after her husband’s death, and she remains active in promoting agriculture and environmental education through the district auxiliary’s scholarship contributions.
The Sharecs purchased the first portion of their farm from George’s father, Eli, in 1960. Awareness of conservation practices began when George, Ruth and Eli acquired their first Conservation Farming Guide from the Trumbull SWCD in June 1961.
The Sharecs are known for being one of the first farms in the region to implement no-till conservation methods. They constructed grass waterways, and in 1987 they installed concrete fabric forms to prevent soils eroding into Kale Creek, which flows through their farm. George Sharec set aside 10 acres surrounding a pond for a wildlife area and completed timber programs to control grapevines.
Ruth Sharec has made her own individual contributions to conservation by improving the farm for wildlife by having a specific timber cut to provide habitat for the American woodcock.
In 1976, George was named the Conservation Farmer of the Year by Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District and a subsequent award was presented in 1998. He was elected an SWCD board supervisor in 1977 and retired from the board after 21 years.
In May 2003, the Sharecs donated an agricultural easement of 249 acres to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, preserving the farm for agricultural production for perpetuity.
Other district honorees
Other award winners included:
• Volunteer of Year: Joan Kovach and Jim Wilson;
• Conservationist of Year: Kim Mascarella;
• Educator of Year: Jared Terlecky;
• Contractor/Developer Project of the Year: Bruce Mansfield-Glenwillow 345 kV Transmission Line Project, First Energy; Burns McDonnell; Bet -Tech Construction/Independence Excavating.
• Forester of the Year: Mark Popichak; and
• Media person of the Year: Daniel Bancroft.
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