A weekly blog for all things conservation
By: Nathan Dewing, Agricultural Team Leader
The Bradford County Conservation District celebrated difference makers at its annual appreciation dinner Friday night at the Troy Sale Barn. Volunteers were appreciated, land managers recognized, projects highlighted, supporters thanked and advances simply celebrated.
We all could stand to improve our habit of celebrating both big and little successes.
Conservation Districts set up within county jurisdictions across the country are boards of local residents who help promote sound use of natural resources in the community. Bradford County has excelled since its humble 1956 inception. Partnerships with land managers and community members are what make the wheels turn.
Friday night two community partners were presented appreciation awards. Energy Transfer Partners provided over $5,000 in support though 2018 - 2019 for Earth Day, Green Career Day (county-wide 8th grade event), and the high school Envirothon competition. Arey Lumber of Wysox has supported Earth Day with building materials for youngsters to build blue bird houses, providing one of the greatest hits of the April event. This year's Outstanding Cooperator was King Dairy, Bruce King Jr. and family of West Burlington Township.
Each year the conservation district recognizes one farm operator for their ongoing investment in excellent natural resource management, an award with 40-plus year history in Bradford County.
Bruce, Alice and their three children manage the dairy operation with 95 milking cows and many more young animals. 4,800 finishing swine were added to the farm products early in 2018. They use 400 acres to acquire the crops they need, incorporating mangy conservation practices in the field including contour farming, crop rotation and cover crops for soil health and erosion protection. 2016 began a very busy season at the farm when the Kings worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to make major improvements helping both business management and the environment. they installed a concrete/gravel combination outdoor feeding area and manure stacking area that allows them to collect manure and treat barnyard runoff before in enters the watershed. At the same time they improved grazing management with fences, improved water supply, walkways and stream crossings. Projects like these benefit animals, famer and the larger community. Thank you to the King family for you excellent management and willingness to adapt and grow your business in a way that benefits your community.
Cathy Yeakel, district manager recognized six conservation district employees with service awards. Conservation districts often experience high employee turnover rates, but Bradford County has defied this trend, a true testament to its leadership and management over many years.
Retaining employees enables development of technical capability to serve the community with excellence. Yeakel thanked these employees for their dedication to the Bradford County team: Joe Quatrini, 16 years; Brad Cummings, 19 years; Kyleen Dinelli, 20 years; Nate Dewing, 22 years; Janet MacWhinne, 27 years; and Rob Sweppenheiser, 32 years.
Because of our strong community, we are poised for another year of building - as long as we are able to encourage one another that even small improvements make a difference.
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Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District