Wayne SWCD presents conservation awards

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Marge Forbush with Kelly Riley of Wayne SWCD Education Specialist
Marge Forbush received the 2015 Conservation Educator Award from Kelly Riley, Wayne SWCD Education Specialist.

WEST SALEM, Ohio — Wayne County farmers remain committed to conservation, and some of the county’s top efforts were recognized Nov.17, during the annual Soil and Water Conservation District banquet.

This year, the Conservation Farm Award was presented to David and Velda Rohrer. Rohrer is a retired dairy and potato farmer and currently operates a 400-acre grain farm in Green Township in Wayne County.

The Rohrers follow conservation and nutrient management plans. Conservation practices include crop rotation of corn and soybeans, and renting 80 acres to a local farmer raising alfalfa hay.

They use no-till and minimum tillage, as well as grass waterways and strip cropping, contour strips and have installed subsurface drainage to further improve crop production. Rohrer has participated in the Conservation Reserve Program and the Conservation Stewardship program.

Educator award

Marge Forbush, a fourth-grade teacher at Melrose Elementary in Wooster, was named as the 2015 Educator of the Year. Kelly Riley, education specialist for Wayne SWCD, presented the award.

Riley said Forbush’s goal as a teacher is to help her students develop a concern for land and its resources so that students can make positive decisions regarding conservation of wildlife and the environment.

She works with the College of Wooster’s Geology and Physics Department to present programs for her students, as well as planning field trips to landfills, The Wilderness Center and this year a trip to the Wayne County Historical Society, and Brown’s Bog, to study plant adaptations.

Board members

Elected to the Wayne SWCD board of supervisors were Matt Peart and John Redick.

Peart, a resident of Congress Township, farms 400 acres in Wayne and Summit counties. He raises organic corn, soybeans, hay and spelt. He also has a herd of Angus cows. Conservation practices include filter strips, conservation tillage, contour strips, and grass waterways.

Peart is a state representative to the National Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and is on the President’s Cabinet at the state level. He is an Area 2 Director and treasurer of the Joint Muskingum Conservancy District Board, a member of farm bureau and the Organic Crop Improvement Association. He has two adult children.

Redick, a resident of Chester Township, is a partner in JCB Redick Farms. The family farming operations covers 1,700 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and grass hay. They also have a herd of Angus cows.

Conservation practices include no-till and minimum tillage, strip cropping, vertical and contour strips. They have also installed grass waterways. Redick is a Farm Bureau member and an officer with the New Pittsburg Fire Department, and an emergency medical technician. He and his wife, Karen, have two adult children.

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Freelance writer Susan Mykrantz has been writing for Farm and Dairy since 1989. She is a graduate of the ag college at Ohio State University and also serves as editor of the "Ohio Jersey News." She lives in Wayne County.

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