COLUMBUS, OH – Across the state, Ohio’s farmers continue to adopt practices on their land aimed at addressing important conservation issues, such as improving Ohio’s water quality. Food and agriculture remain Ohio’s No. 1 industry, annually contributing more than $105 billion to the state’s economy. As farmers are stewards of the land, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is seeking nominations of Ohio farm families who are leaders in preserving and protecting our natural resources for the 2015 Conservation Farm Family Awards.
The Conservation Farm Family Award program has recognized Ohio farm families since 1984 for their efforts in managing natural resources while meeting both production and conservation goals. Individual farmers, partnerships or family farm corporations are eligible for nomination, provided a substantial portion of their income is derived from farming. The judging is based on the nominee's use of new and traditional conservation practices, comprehensive management, individual initiative in applying conservation measures and the nominee’s willingness to share conservation information, experiences and philosophy with others.
The awards program is sponsored by the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD), Ohio Farmer Magazine and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
Five area finalists will be selected from across the state, and these finalists will be recognized at the annual Farm Science Review in September. They will also receive a $400 award, courtesy of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and be featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer Magazine.
Nomination forms can be obtained from local county soil and water conservation districts or by visiting the division’s website at soilandwater.ohiodnr.gov. The forms must be returned by May 1 to Ohio Farmer Magazine, 117 W. Main St., Suite 202, Lancaster, Ohio 43130.
Agriculture is the largest land use in the state, with nearly 14 million acres of farmland. Ohio’s 75,000 farms have both an impact and dependency upon the state’s land, water, woodland and wildlife resources. Conservation and wise resource management enable farmers to maintain a continued balance of economic productivity and environmental stewardship.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.