Conservation banquet honors students, landowners

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The Oldham County Conservation District’s 33rd Annual Awards Banquet was held on Feb. 6 at John Black Community Center.

The winner of the Jim Claypool Art Contest, chosen out of 895 entries, was Brittany Smith from Buckner Elementary School. Ben Beyerle from Crestwood Elementary School was the county runner-up.

Chosen from 270 entries, the winner of the Conservation Writing Contest was Sophia Biagi from St. Aloysius School. Sidney Salvadalena from East Oldham Middle School was the county runner-up.

The night began with a moment of remembrance, honoring Glenn Watson, a member of the board who passed away in late 2013. A perpetual scholarship in his name was announced. Those interested in applying may contact their guidance counselor or Shauna Buchert at 502-222-5123 for an application.

Recognized for going above and beyond in their conservation efforts and care of the land was Larry Modesty as Outstanding Cooperator. The award recipient has to practice good long-term conservation ethics on land they own or manage. As an Outstanding District Cooperator, this individual’s efforts in protecting the fragile resources of soil, water, woodland or wildlife resources are often modeled by others in the community.

Caldwell Willig was selected as Master Conservationist, the highest honor awarded in the state to deserving landowners. The Master Conservationist Award is the highest recognition presented to private landowners by a local Soil and Water Conservation District for individual land stewardship efforts. Less than two percent of private landowners or farmers are recognized as Master Conservationists. To qualify for this award, the landowner must have completed over 90 percent of their soil and water conservation plan for the land under their control. In doing so, almost all, if not all of their land-based natural resources are protected from serious degradation and are managed for sustainability. Their conservation practices and management techniques are those to be modeled and are often emulated by others seeking to achieve similar levels of success.

Vernon Hodge, Kevin Dick and Steve Greenwell were recognized for their conservation efforts in preserving and protecting monarch butterfly habitat.

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