Monday, October 2, 2017

75th Annual Meeting and Election

Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District Election

On Tuesday October 24th, the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District will be holding their 75th annual meeting and banquet. Every year the Guernsey SWCD holds an annual meeting for the purpose of electing members to the five member board that comprises the board of supervisors for the district. This year there will be two members elected to a three-year term.

The mission of the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District is to promote through education and technical assistance the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. The traditional perception of the Soil and Water Conservation District has been one of working primarily with the agricultural community. The district does work on natural resource issues with local agriculture but in addition to that, it is a considerable resource to all landowners and land users in Guernsey County.

This year's slate of candidates for election to the district board of supervisors include; John Enos, Ken Ford, Darlene Miser, and Mark Oliver. The two candidates with the most votes will be elected to a three-year term. The official election will begin at 5:00 pm Tuesday, October 24th at the Deerassic Park Education Center located at 14250 Cadiz Rd, Cambridge, OH 43725

The dinner, catered by Theo’s Restaurant, will be served at 6:00pm, with a brief program following the meal. Tickets for the banquet are $10, and can soon be purchased from any current board member, or from the SWCD office.  If you are unable to attend the day of the election, absentee ballots are available at the district office located at 335C Old National Rd, Old Washington, Ohio until 2:00pm October 24th.  Eligible voters are all individuals who are at least 18 years of age and a resident of Guernsey County or at least 18 years of age and own real estate in Guernsey County. Consider participating in this important process. For additional information you may contact the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District office at (740) 489-5276.

We are hiring!

Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District
Position Description

Position Title:             Agricultural Resource Specialist
Salary:                         Commensurate with experience
Reports to:                 District Program Administrator (DPA)
Employment Status:  Full time, subject to six month probationary period
Hours:                         8:00 AM to 4:30PM – 40 hours

This position is responsible for providing education, technical assistance, and field assistance to landowners/operators and units of government, in rural and urban settings throughout Guernsey County. 


·         Provide technical assistance to and education of individual landowners in the successful development and installation of conservation practices relating to the District’s mission and goals in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the ODA Division of Soil and Water Conservation.
·         Responsible for assisting in planning tour, field days, technical workshops, and public viewing of demonstrations including equipment, plots, practices, etc.
·         Provide assistance to landowners to comply with the provision of Ohio’s Agricultural Pollution Abatement Law. 
·         Provide leadership and guidance to landowners who wish to learn or fine tune their grazing strategies.
·         Provide support and assistance to landowners with soils suitability assessments, flooding and drainage complaints, and stream protection.
·         Lead backyard conservation program with a focus on rain gardens and other storm water infiltration practices. Update and develop outreach programs pertaining to backyard conservation topics.
·         Promote the Envirothon Contest and solicit contest participants in county schools.  Coordinate training events with area schools.
·         Represent the District at meetings of local, state and federal agencies and organizations as directed.
·         Attend monthly board meetings and/or other meetings as designated by the DPA and/or Board of Supervisors.
·         Keep abreast of all federal, state, and local laws that affect the conservation work within the district.
·         Prepare and maintain all records, reports, and forms as required.  This includes the computerized payroll and data collection system, currently known as SWIMS.
·         Coordinate the technical work with the other district staff and technical requests with the NRCS District Conservationist and the DPA.
·         Must comply with all of the district’s policies (i.e. Employment Policy, this position description)
·         Must demonstrate regular and predictable attendance.
·         Perform all other duties as assigned by the DPA or the board of supervisors.
·         Other duties and responsibilities not mentioned will evolve. The Joint Board of Supervisors does not hold this job description to be “all encompassing” and maintain the right to develop other  areas of responsibility as deemed necessary. 


·         Minimum of 2 year degree and/or experience in natural resources conservation practices, current agricultural production practices (including row crops, livestock, hay production, grazing management, nutrient management).
·         Ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written form; exercise sound judgment; use time and organizational skills wisely; be groomed and dressed appropriately as to reflect well on the Guernsey SWCD; cooperate with co-workers; receive and implement instructions from DPA and board of supervisors; communicate and work well with landowners without discrimination. Success in this position will depend greatly on the ability to develop a working relationship with landowners in order to implement conservation practices.  This will require outreach, planning, and follow-up over the long term.
·         Ability to operate field equipment (survey equipment, water quality monitoring equipment, GPS data collector, digital camera, etc.) with guidance and training.
·         Familiarity with popular computer software (including, but not limited to, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher) and willingness to learn new applications. Some proficiency in ArcView, GIS, ERIN preferred, or an ability to learn these programs quickly.
·         Must be insurable for government vehicle operation and have a valid Ohio driver’s license.
·         Ability to pass a background check in order to use county and federal computer system.
·         Be a certified conservation planner, or work towards within 18 months of employment.
·         Be certified or work to become trained in TDP Level 1 and 2 within 24 months of employment.


·         Occasionally performs duties during inclement weather. 
·         Required to lift and carry necessary equipment; walk over uneven, steep ground; cross fences. 
·         Required to transport district rental equipment using district vehicles.
·         Required to work in close proximity to construction equipment while in operation.
·         Required to attend evening and weekend meetings on occasion within and outside the county.

To Apply   

Position open until filled

Please submit a cover letter, resume and 3 references to:
Guernsey SWCD
PO Box 310
Old Washington, OH 43768

If you have questions, feel free to contact our office at 740-489-5276 or

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pond Clinic 2017

Guernsey SWCD and OSU Extension teamed up on Tuesday August 15th for a Pond Clinic. We had a wonderful turnout, as close to 30 people showed up to learn about pond construction, wildlife habitats and weeds. We had delicious sandwiches from McKenna's Market for all who participated. Speakers included GSWCD employees Jason Tyrell and Levi Arnold, as well as OSU Extension's Clif Little. It was a great overall program that we all enjoyed. We would like to send a special thanks to Mike and Jenny Abbott for allowing us the use of their pond as a site for education. For information on upcoming events, please call Guernsey SWCD at 740-489-5276.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fish Sale!

It's that time of the year again! The Guernsey SWCD annual fish sale is taking place now until October 10th. If you own a pond and are interested in adding some new fish into it, this is your chance! Fenders Fish Hatchery will be delivering the fish on October 12th and pick up will be here at our Guernsey County Fairgrounds office. You can print an order form here, fill it out and mail it in to us. Or, stop by the office or our website to print off an order form. Don't forget, August 15th is our FREE pond clinic where we will cover things regarding fish management and stocking recommendations. Thanks and tell your friends! for more details, call the office at 740-489-5276.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

32nd Annual Guernsey SWCD Conservation Day Camp

July 27th and 28th marked the 32nd Annual Guernsey SWCD Conservation Camp. We logged 2 days of activities with children ages 8-11. On the first day, we were at Salt Fork State Park. The kid’s activities consisted of fishing, canoeing, archery, making candles out of bees wax, and learning about snakes. The second day was a tour of The Wilds. The kids got to see all kinds of animals from Giraffes, Zebras and Rhinoceros to Camels and Persian Onagers. They also learned about pollinators and plants while walking trails. We want to thank everyone who was involved in making our 32nd Annual Conservation Camp a success. Without the help of our volunteers, none of this would be possible. A special thanks to Dave Schott, Rusty Roberts Sidney Rhinehart, Jolie Black and John Hickenbottom for all their help.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cover Crop Planning Starts Now


Time to plan for cover crops

Make this a year to ‘Cover Some Ground,’ Soil Health Partnership says

OUIS — When it comes to growing cover crops, some common advice from the more than 100 farmers enrolled in the Soil Health Partnership is “start small.” The SHP is encouraging farmers new to cover crops to start small, but start now.
A cover crop is a crop planted primarily to reduce soil erosion, improve soil health, and protect water quality, among other benefits. Typical varieties in the Midwest include cereal rye, oats and tillage radish.
David Moose, an Auburn, Ill. farmer enrolled in the SHP program, has grown cover crops on his farm for several years. Kneeling in his black soil at a November field day, Moose pulls up a tiny green plant. The cereal rye’s thin roots extend deeper into the soil than looks possible.
“This root is already nearly 12 inches long,” Moose says. “It will grow to be another one or two feet down in the soil, providing a nice environment for worms, and creating channels for water to go down deep. I don’t have to rip up the soil for this to happen.”
Growing cover crops, usually in fall and winter, can provide striking benefits to soil health, including:
  • Erosion Prevention. Reducing the soil’s exposure to wind and water can help keep precious topsoil in place.
  • Restoring Organic Matter.  Some components of organic matter can help bind soil.....(To Read more, click the following link:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gray Hairstreak Caterpillar (Strymon melinus)

Picture taken by: Jason Tyrell 

Picture taken by: Jason Tyrell 

This little guy decided to drill a few holes in my green beans in my garden. This caterpillar will be found on flowers and fruits from a ton of different plants. However they are most commonly found on the pea and mallow family, including beans (as we can see from my picture), clovers, cotton and mallow. This caterpillar is capable of causing economic loss in bean and cotton crops.

After this caterpillar turns into a butterfly, this is what it will look like: 
© S. Bright 9/3/2007  Blount County

4-11-07. Falcon Heights, TX. ©Berry Nall or as stated

As an adult, the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly will rely on nectar from several flower species including: Milkweed, goldenrod, white sweet clover, dogbane, mint , winter cress, and trefoil.
You will find this butterfly in non-forested areas, mostly in disturbed weedy areas.