Ohio's Top Conservation Farmers Honored

The Ohio Department of Agriculture recognized five families representing each region of the state as winners of the 2018 Conservation Farm Family Awards at the Farm Science Review in London. This was the 35th year of the awards program.

“Ohio is very fortunate to have some of the most fertile ground in the country for growing a wide variety of crops, but none of that is possible if we do not implement conservation practices to take care of what we have,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels. “These families have gone the extra mile in conserving soil, water, woodland and wildlife on the land they farm and we thank them for their dedication.”

The five families honored were: The Brause Family of Crawford County; Paul and Joanne Mechling of Ashtabula County; Chuck and Diane Hicks of Washington County; the Lohstroh family of Madison and Pickaway counties; and T. Wayne Vickers of Pickaway County.

“For 35 years we have been honoring farm families for their contribution to conservation and I am continually amazed how these families are dedicated to paying it forward for future generations,” said Kirk Hines, chief of the department’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation. “These producers are the best of the best and they provide an example for the rest of us to mimic in our effort to conserve our natural resources.”

Since 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Awards program has recognized 181 Ohio farm families for their exemplary efforts conserving soil, water, woodland, wildlife and other natural resources on the land they farm. Conservation farm families also host a variety of educational programs, opening their farms to schools, scout groups, farm organizations and others.

In addition to receiving $400 each from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the families were also featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer magazine and received plaques from ADS Hancor Inc. Ohio Farmer magazine has sponsored the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards since the program's inception. Nominations are sought annually between January and May, and Ohio farming families are encouraged to apply. For more information or to apply individuals can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

Area 4 Winner- The Lohstroh Family (George, Michelle, Jonathan, and Annie) farms approximately 1,000 acres in Madison and Pickaway counties. They raise corn, soybeans, pumpkins, wheat, hay, cover crops, and sorghum-sudan grass for baled silage. The farm also includes a 35 cow beef herd and a fall farm market offering pick-your-own pumpkins, hay rides, and educational tours for school groups. The Lohstroh’s utilize variable rate technology for precision placement of nutrients. They are active county farm bureau members.

Area 5 Winner- T. Wayne Vickers owns more than 1,300 acres in Pickaway County. The property includes 320 acres of land in the CRP, 370 acres of woodlands, 250 acres of corn/soybean rotation and 80 acres of lakes and ponds. Wayne Vickers has planted more than 170,000 trees on his property and the property is home to the largest bur oak in the state. The Vickers have hosted tour groups through the local soil and water conservation district and the property has been used by Pheasants Forever to conduct youth programs.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture recognized five families representing each region of the state as winners of the 2018 Conservation Farm Family Awards

The Ohio Department of Agriculture recognized five Conservation Farm Family Awards winners at Farm Science Review on Thursday. Plaque winners were: Area 1 winner Brause Family, Area 2 winner Mechling Family, Area 3 winner Hicks Family, Area 4 winner Lohstroh Family, Area 5 winner T. Wayne Vickers.  

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