Soil conservation winners honored at meeting

OSAGE CITY—The Osage County Soil Conservation District held its annual meeting Monday at the Osage City schools cafeteria. Keith Badger, district president, followed up the dinner with a brief overview of the districts purpose.

“We do education, we do agriculture stewardship, we work at fairs and farm shows, and we’re in schools,” Bardger said. “We’re the terrace and waterway people. This is probably what we’re best known for.”

Badger also noted the district’s involvement in a tire collection project, which removed 20,000 old tires form the county.

Badger focused his presentation on cover crops.

“It’s what’s coming in conservation,” Badger said. “It prevents erosion, creates organic matter for the soil and grazing opportunities for those who have cattle.”

Badger said the use in watershed preservation and restoration strategies has made cover crops a popular solution in drainage basins.

“Public and governmental agencies have been more and more interested in cover crops,” Badger said. “In some parts of the county, the nutrient program requires cover crops. There is no place like this in Kansas, but this may come.”

He said cover crops are a natural progression in the improvement of soil and erosion control, a stacked set of policies that help prevent man-made ecological disasters like the dust bowl. Conservation districts were the direct recourse of the mistakes of that era.

“We learned to leave more residue, to till a litte less,” Badger said. “Now they’re saying you need to plant more stuff, right behind your harvested crop.”

Badger said the conservation district and resources like the Kansas State University Extension Service would provide farmers with solutions in the coming years.

“It’s an emerging field in agriculture science,” Badger said. “It might be a future for some young people in this room.”

The young people in the room included the district’s annual limerick and poster contest winners from county schools, as well as members of the builders club, which helped serve the meal and bus tables. Awards were presented to the 16 winners near the start of the meeting.

The meeting also included a brief presentation from Jarran Tindle, Kansas Forest Service, who presented the department as a resource for land use.

“We know that most land owners are trying to put land to it’s highest use,” Tindle said. “With this in mind, most land in Kansas is not put to grass and grain production. Trees are only aloud to grow on land that is too steep, too poor, or too inaccessible.”

Tindle said the service can help manage those forested areas, and foster growth of desirable trees.

The first part of the evening commenced with door prizes for the youth in attendance, and the district meeting followed. Awards were presented to David and Karen Badger, recipient of the Kansas Banker Award, and Eric and Amanda Finch, who received the district’s young farmer award.

The evening wrapped up with door prizes and the reelection of Brian Davies and Keith Badger as district representatives.

Photo - Poster and limerick winners were presented with awards at the Osage County Soil Conservation District Meeting. The award winners were, from left, front row – Taytum Gellhaus, Marais des Cygnes Valley; Jacie Kock, Osage City; Lorren Kennedy, Overbrook; Claire Greenfield, Overbrook; Emma Smith, Burlingame; Amelia Arb, MdCV; Isabella Reeser, MdCV; Harper Melton, MdCV; back row – Allyson Sage, Osage City, Colby Hokanson, Osage City; Maiya Renfro, Osage City; Riley Petitjean, Osage City; Emma Theel, Osage City; Keaira Davidson, Osage City; and Emma Marsh, MdCV. Not pictured – Harlee Watkin, Osage City.

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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