Ted Hollaender was honored as Clermont SWCD’s Cooperator of the Year at its 75th anniversary annual meeting on September 13. Ted farms about 700 acres of corn and soybeans in northern Clermont County, and is constantly exploring different ways to improve his operations, especially for conservation. He has participated in the USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program to make improvements on his land using management practices such as no till, nutrient management, conservation crop rotation, cover crops, and he has plans for pollinator plantings. Ted is also enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program, which serves to reward producers for being good stewards of the land, while making further improvements.
When applying fertilizer, he follows the 4-R strategy (Right source, Right rate, Right time, and Right place) of nutrient management, and includes the use of variable rate applications recommended in the Tri-State Fertility Guide.
Ted has also been willing to help the District with different projects, including researching the benefits of using the Haney soil test, and allowing us to collect soil samples to help better calibrate the East Fork Soil and Water Assessment Tool model.
Ted plants about 450 acres of cover crops each year – about 2/3 of his fields. He has experimented with several different types of cover crop mixes to build soil health and increase infiltration at a faster pace than would occur with a single species.
Over 200 friends of conservation turned out at Shaw Farms on September 13th for the 75th Annual Meeting of the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District. Prior to the official meeting, the district hosted an open house, where visitors could view photos and documents from years past, check out our new “augmented reality” sandbox, see antique tractors and take part in different Shaw Farm activities. Attendees also had a chance to visit with the Park District naturalist or the Newport Aquarium, which brought a sturgeon in a mobile fish tank funded by the Regional Storm Water Collaborative. The meeting got underway with the election of two board supervisors and a tasty meal by Taste of the Good Life Catering.
Several conservation partners were recognized for their 2017-2018 achievements in the conservation field. Ted Hollaender of Wayne Township was honored as the District’s Conservation Cooperator of the Year. Christa Burbage, 3rd grade teacher at Seipelt Elementary in Milford, was awarded the District’s Outstanding Conservation Teacher of the Year award.
Christa has taught in the Milford School District for 14 years, and has been committed to bringing agriculture into the classroom. She grew up surrounded by agriculture, with her family raising cattle as well as market hogs which were sold to 4-H’ers in Clermont County. For the past 14 years, Christa has organized an “Ag” day at Seipelt, where FFA members bring livestock for her students to see, touch and learn about first hand, and teach students about crop production, cuts of meat and how farming has changed over time.
Christa is passionate about providing her students with as many “real world” opportunities as possible. She coordinates with the Cincinnati Area Coral Reef Enthusiasts so her students can learn about ecosystems in a hands on manner. In her classroom, she plans a week of science stations for each unit so that the students get an opportunity to work together on experiments and group projects. She and her students have also built a butterfly garden to provide habitat for monarchs.
The Clermont County Commissioners and the Ohio Congress and Governor’s office presented the award recipients with proclamations recognizing their accomplishments and dedication to promoting good land stewardship.
The district would like to extend a special thank-you to all individuals and businesses who donated funds or door prizes to help make the 2018 conservation banquet a great success.
As many of you know, ponds are not natural in Clermont County. All the ponds that you see have been constructed throughout the years for many different purposes. Today there are over 5,000 ponds that dot our landscape. Why are there so many and how has SWCD helped residents plan, install and maintain these features?
In 1943, when Clermont SWCD began helping landowners with soil problems, ponds were installed to remove livestock from creeks and provide a source of water during drought. Beginning in the 1940’s ponds were designed and constructed throughout the county by Soil Conservation Service (now NRCS) and SWCD for this purpose; 207 were installed by 1954. Hundreds were constructed throughout the 1950’s to 1980 with over 500 more constructed.
Cheaper means of getting livestock water, such as public waterlines that were crisscrossing the county caused a shift in funding away from ponds. The district now designs livestock watering facilities from some of these ponds, but most water comes from public water systems.
Fishing lakes also became popular during this time with 19 reported lakes in 1970 including the colorful named Bob and John’s Ding-a-ling Lake. Eventually larger lakes were installed in the county for flood control and other purposes including Stonelick Lake in 1950 and Harsha Lake (East Fork Lake) in 1978.
Many of these ponds are still on the landscape today, with many landowners still seeking assistance from SWCD for continuing maintenance. In 1958, SWCD began partnering with other organizations and professional pond care specialists to educate pond owners at pond management clinics. These clinics were held every two years or so into the 1980’s. In 1992 after a few years absence, SWCD began their annual pond clinic that is still popular today.
The purpose of a pond today has changed from when we started constructing them for drought purposes, but ponds are still desired for other reasons and each year more are constructed. Most ponds constructed today are for recreational or storm water control. If you own or maintain a pond built through the drought program, most likely it may not meet the needs of today. Most of these ponds have outlived their life expectancy and will need to be rehabbed as per the pond owner’s desires.
To find out more, join us at our next Pond Clinic on April 10th. Learn how to combat nature that is always affecting a pond and learn new techniques and stocking recommendations to maximize your pond potential.
Cost of Living: 1943 vs. 2016
|Average cost of new house||$3,600||$ 288,000|
|Average wages per year||$2,000||$ 57,617|
|Cost of a gallon of gas||$0.15||$ 1.95|
|Average cost for house rent||$40/mo.||$ 1,021/mo.|
|Bottle of Coca Cola||$0.05||$ 1.75|
|Average price for a new car||$900||$ 34,300|
Average Crop Production, 1943
Average Crop Production 2016