52nd Annual Meeting
Hendricks County Soil & Water Conservation District
On January 20, 2004 we celebrated our52nd Annual Meeting, at the Hendricks Community Building in Danville.
Joining us in the celebration were 98 people in attendance.
Business part of the meeting was:
Daryl Stephenson was elected as supervisor
David Coleman, Superior Court II Judge gave the Oath of Office to Daryl Stephenson and Jeff Healy, appointed supervisor.
Conservation Farmer of the Year - was presented to Himsel Brothers of Center Township.
Himsel Brothers is a family run farming operation involving three generations of family members. The farms consist of approximately 5,000 acres of grain farming, a hay operation, a 600 sow farrow-to-finish operation and a direct marketing approach for consumer pork products. Himsel Brothers leads the way in integrating conservation practice with the farming operation on the ground. The farms feature no-till systems for soybeans and conservation tillage for corn. In this way soil is kept in place in the field instead of being washed into local ditches and streams.
Other conservation practices include grass waterways, water and sediment control basis (WASCOBS), and drop structures. All of these features work to conserve soil and protect water quality. Manure handling from the hog operation is always challenging. Soil and water quality are protected here by providing adequate liquid manure storage capacity, “knifing” waste into the fields below the soil surface, and by hauling manures greater distances to avoid high concentrations of nutrients in fields near the barns.
A hallmark of Himsel Brothers operations is to embrace the constant challenges and changes of farming with an attitude of continuous improvement. Family members think about what a certain field needs to make it better. Often that answer has been conservation practice.
Congratulations to Doris, Dave, Sam, Steve, Matt, Cory, Clint and Adam Himsel. Successful conservation minded farmers like Himsel Brothers help to preserve and protect our important natural resources.
Conservation Teacher of the Year - Jeremy Small of Tri-West High School was presented the "Donald H. Lawson Award for Conservation Education". Mr. Small is a third year teacher of Biology, earth/space science and environmental science at Tri-West High School, Northwest Hendricks School Corporation, in Lizton. Of particular interest to the Conservation District Board was his work with his “Early Risers” environmental science class. Meeting at 7:00 a.m. two days per week, the students work through units on water, soil and air quality issues. Also, they address and discuss current environmental issues. An emphasis of the class is on “doing” as opposed to lecture.
An example of this approach is the class’ work on Big Walnut Creek at McCloud Park. The Park has been established as a Hoosier Riverwatch location and must be monitored for physical, chemical and biological water quality parameters twice per year to maintain that status.
Additionally, Mr. Small is working on a proposal to establish an outdoor laboratory for students at the Tri-West Junior High and High School locations in Lizton. The property there involves several acres draining to a tributary on the East Fork Big Walnut Creek.
Mr. Small graduated from Harrison High School in Lafayette and from Depauw University in 2000. He majored in Biology with a minor in education. An Eagle Scout in his youth, he has worked the past four summers as and instructor and coordinator for “ROCKS” – Roving Outdoor Conservation School at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
His skill, vision and enthusiasm make a difference in the lives of his students and help to foster a conservation ethic to rely upon for the future.
Jeff Kingdon - Natural Resources Conservationist with the District talked about his recent cycling trip from Danville following the Lewis & Clark trail to the Pacific Ocean.
Indiana's Soil and Water Conservation Districts are responsible for the soil and water conservation programs and are charged with managing and establishing good sound conservation to protect our natural resources within the county. The majority of the assistance comes from the Indiana Conservation Partnership including the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and IDNR Div. of Soil Conservation. Wise use of our natural resources is of vital importance to the health and progress of the county. Our soil, water, and other natural resources are constantly under pressures that are unprecedented by a growing economy, a broadening technology, and increasing population. Our society today demands more of our natural resources and better management of our environment for living.
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