Thursday, October 20, 2016

Meet the Candidates, Steve Douglass

Steve Douglass holds a Master's degree in elementary administration from Ohio University, and served as a teacher and principal with the Cambridge City School District for 35 years. He was a Guernsey County commissioner from 2008-2012. Steve and his wife, Sherry, reside in Cambridge Township, where they raised two daughters. He has served on the SWCD board since 2013.

Meet the Candidates, Mark Roberts

Meet the Candidate Mark Roberts.
Mark Roberts retired after 27 years as a heavy equipment operator with AEP in Conesville. He currently manages a 300 acre hay and cow/calf family farm operation. He is a member of Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and a member and trustee of Cumberland Buffalo Presbyterian Church. He served as President of Local 1366 and 31 year member of UMWA and is currently a Spencer Township Trustee. He has been married to his wife Marsha for 30 years, has two children, Chelsey and Joe, and two grandchildren, Caiden and Cale.

Request for Absentee Ballot

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For anyone unable to come to the annual meeting and cast your ballot here is the request for an absentee ballot. Simply fill this out and get it back to us by mail or stop by the office and you can get your vote in.

Monday, October 17, 2016

2016 Annual Meeting October 26th at The Cambridge Eagles Kitchen Voting Starts at 6 PM

Come one, come all, to the 74th annual Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District annual meeting dinner and election on October 26th 2016  at the Cambridge Eagles Kitchen where tickets for the meal can be purchased for $10 at the door or in advance from any Guernsey SWCD employee or board member. The dinner includes roast beef, stuffed pork loin, baked potato, lima beans, tossed salad, roll, desserts, iced tea, coffee, and water. The doors open at 6 PM for the voting of Guernsey SWCD supervisors followed by dinner at 7 PM and an informational presentation at 7:45 PM. This year’s incumbent is Steve Douglass, running against Steve is Mark Roberts. One of these two fine gentlemen will be elected to a three year term on the board of supervisors which helps guide and oversee the district. All eligible voters are 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. If you are unable to attend the day of the meeting to vote and want to cast your ballot, please contact the district office about an absentee ballet. We encourage any and all eligible voters to weigh in on this important process. After voting and the dinner, an informational program will be presented by Rick Booth, of the Guernsey County Historical Society. Rick has been a member of the historical society for many years and is a wealth of knowledge to the days of yesteryear and is sure to have several interesting topics and facts for us. For more information about the annual meeting, please contact the Guernsey SWCD office at 740-489-5276.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

USDA offers Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) Sign-up.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners in Guernsey and Noble counties for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) until October 28, 2016
What is EQIP?  
The Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to landowners and agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air, and other related natural resources. EQIP may also assist landowners with meeting Federal, State, and Local environmental regulations.  Financial assistance payments through EQIP are made to eligible landowners and producers on completed practices or activities identified in an EQIP contract that meets NRCS Standards. Payment rates are set each fiscal year and are attached to the EQIP contract when it is approved. Payment rates for each Conservation Practice can be found at the Ohio NRCS Website.
EQIP includes Conservation planning and financial assistance:
NRCS provides landowners and land managers with free technical assistance, or advice for their land. Technical assistance includes: Resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if and what financial assistance is right for you. Dedicated EQIP funds are available for conservation practices targeting On-Farm Energy, Organic Systems, High Tunnel Systems, Honeybee and other wildlife habitat, as well as several landscape-based initiatives, including:  Livestock, Pasture, Cropland, Forestry, and Wildlife categories.
 Eligibility for financial assistance:
As part of the application process, we will check to see if you are eligible. To be eligible you as a landowner, or land manager, will need to bring an official tax ID to the USDA service center. Applicants will also need a property deed or lease agreement that shows you have control of the property. If USDA records are not already established, the applicant can establish or update their records at the USDA service center. Other documents may be necessary for the applicant to be eligible for funding. An eligibility document checklist is available for applicants on the Ohio NRCS Website or at a local USDA service center.
Competitive ranking of applications:
Once a complete and valid application is submitted that is supported by a conservation plan, NRCS will look at the applications and rank them when the funding period opens. All applications are ranked based on National, State, and Local resource concerns. The amount of conservation benefits to the environment in supporting the conservation plan, and the needs of the applicant are considered in the ranking process. Ranking questions are of public record and can be found on the Ohio NRCS website.

Stop by the USDA Service Center at 1300 Clark St. Suite 10, Cambridge, Ohio 43725. Or call Jay McElroy, District Conservationist at 740-432-5621 ext. 119 to discuss and see if EQIP is right for you.

Know Your Soils

Come on out to Robert Gray's Farm on Oct. 18th to hear all about soils! Rick Griffin, NRCS Soil Scientist, Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator, and Jason Tyrell, Ag. Resource Specialist for the Guernsey SWCD will fill you in on all you need to know. Topics that will be covered include; Soil health, soil structure, soil/ forage testing techniques, and comprehending those tests. For more information about this FREE event or to register, please call the Guernsey SWCD at 740-489-5276.