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Ohio's 2023 Conservation Farm Family Award Winners
Ohio Ag Connection - 09/22/2023

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) honored five remarkable families with the 2023 Conservation Farm Family Awards at the Farm Science Review in London, Ohio. These families have demonstrated outstanding commitment to conserving soil, water, woodland, wildlife, and other vital natural resources on their farms.

The five families recognized are:

Rethmel family, Defiance County: The Rethmel brothers farm 1,335 acres, employing practices like cover crops, crop rotation, filter strips, wildlife habitat, and nutrient management.

Todd and Melissa Miller, Columbiana County: Operating a 115-acre farm with a beef cow operation, they incorporate conservation practices like cover crops, filter strips, and wetlands.

Julius (Jules) and Jodee Verhovec, Jefferson County: With a 132-acre farm, they manage a cow/calf operation, woodland, and use practices like filter strips and livestock exclusion fencing.

Brent and Jenna Clark, Miami County: Farming 1,376 acres, they utilize forestry, cover crops, crop rotation, waterways, livestock exclusion fencing, and more.

Wickerham family, Adams County: Raising 85 beef cattle on 220 acres, they employ livestock exclusion fencing, nutrient management, grazing management, and wildlife habitat practices.

These families exemplify the importance of conservation in agriculture, hosting educational programs and welcoming schools, scout groups, and farm organizations to their farms.

Adam Sharp, Executive Vice President of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, commended these families for their dedication to conservation, emphasizing its impact on farms, communities, and Ohio's agricultural landscape.

John Wilson, Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist, acknowledged the pivotal role of Ohio's farmers in preserving natural resources and highlighted these families' extraordinary efforts.

Each of the honored families will receive $400 from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and will be featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer magazine, which has sponsored the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards since the program's inception.

Nominations for this prestigious recognition are sought annually between January and May, encouraging Ohio farming families to apply through their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

These outstanding Ohio farm families set a high standard for stewardship, promoting a harmonious balance between robust agricultural practices and responsible environmental conservation.

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