Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Area 3 Conservation Family Farm Award Winners

Award winner Randy Raber with Guernsey SWCD Board chairman Bill Bertram.
Mr Raber was nominated for this award by district staff and board members.
Randy and Marijane Raber farm more than 2500 acres in Guernsey County.  They grow corn, beans, hay, and they raise cattle.  Conservation practices utilized include no-till, cover crops, grassed waterways, filter strips and contour strips.  A 100-acre wetland has been restored on the farm.  Livestock exclusion fencing has been installed to prevent cattle from entering streams.  Other conservation measures include rotational grazing, access roads, heavy use pads, nutrient management, critical area seeding and cool season plantings.

The Rabers have been district cooperators since 1995.  They have opened up their farm to SWCD employees for grazing training.  Elected officials have also been invited to view the operation.  When asked to describe their conservation philosophy, Randy said. "Conservation is an ever-evolving process, with a better way and more to learn.  An open mind can protect our environment and be more profitable."

The Rabers were among five other families across Ohio to be honored in an award ceremony held during the Farm Science Review this week.  The Conservation Farm Family awards program was created in 1984 to recognize Ohio farm families for their long-standing dedication to natural resources and their exemplary efforts on conserving soil, water, woodland and wildlife on the land they farm.  The award program pays tribute to these farm families who have gone the extra mile in protecting the environment and the commitment to being good stewards of their natural resources.

The Conservation Family Farm award is sponsored by the Ohio Farmer; Ohio Federation of Soil & Water Conservation Districts; The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation; USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service; and Hancor, Inc.

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