The 78th Annual Celebration of Conservation Meeting and Banquet of the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District was held Thursday, November 3, 2022 at Lindsley’s Banquet Barn, 4060 New Riley Road, Dresden, Ohio. The theme for the event was “Growing With A Purpose”.
Van Slack served as Master of Ceremonies. A total of 73 people attended the event. A buffet meal of parmesan sauce chicken, baked steak, red skinned mashed potatoes, smothered green beans, dinner salad, rolls, cheesecake with assorted toppings, and beverages was prepared and served by Chef Steve Meredith.
The supervisor election results were announced, and Lance Deal won the election and will begin a three-year term in January 2023.
Van extended our appreciation to our 2022 Awards Committee members, Mark Sterling, Doug McConnell, Jim Porter, and Janet Taylor-Lehman.
There were two RCA Agricultural award winners. Lance Deal presented the first RCA Agricultural Division Cooperator of the Year award to Windy Ridge Jerseys. The award was accepted by J., Rachel, Elaina, and Braden Hodge. The Hodge family own and operate a dairy farm. Their farm was a stop on our 2022 ATV Tour.
Lance Deal presented the second RCA Agricultural Division Cooperator of the Year award to Mayapple Farms. The award was accepted by Rick, Jan, Elijah, and Emma Felumlee. The Felumlee family owns a forest farming operation. The crops grown include perennial vegetables and herbs, fruit trees and berry bushes, and mushrooms.
Doug McConnell presented the RCA Non-agricultural Division award to the City of Zanesville Wastewater Treatment Plant for their many efforts to practice conservation at their facility by installing bat boxes and planting native pollinator plants. Scott Brown, Director, Department of Public Service, received the award on behalf of The City of Zanesville.
Becky Vansickle presented the Backyard Conservationist award to Jennifer Way for her backyard conservation efforts at her home. Jennifer was in attendance to receive her award and a gift certificate for one flat of pollinator plants from the MSWCD native plant sale.
Mark Sterling presented our 2022 Educator of the Year Award to Jessica Stonecypher. Jessica is a teacher at Zanesville Middle School. She is involved in the Agricultural Education program, which is a partnership between the City of Zanesville and Mid-East Career and Technology Center, to bring Career-Tech Education to students in grades 7-10. Jessica was in attendance to receive her award and $25 Staples gift card.
Mark Weiser presented our 2022 Special Educational Outreach Award to Bethel Community Center for their conservation efforts and teaching our community. Amanda Hatfield, Director of Bethel Community Center, was present to accept the award on their behalf.
Becky Vansickle and Mark Sterling presented four Friends of Conservation Awards. The awards were presented to Melanie Imlay, James Marshall, Rhonda Talbott and Lynn Wells.
Melanie Imlay was recognized for giving us the opportunity to expand our Urban Greens program by allowing us to take on the management of the Maple-Harding Garden. This garden produced 371 pounds of produce with it all going to local food pantries. Melanie was present to accept her RCA Friends of Conservation award.
Jim Marshall was recognized for allowing the District to place an Urban Greens community garden on half an acre of his property, which is now referred to as the Marshall Greens Community Garden. This garden produced 6000 pounds of fresh produce, which donated to local food pantries, with the majority going to the South Zanesville Food Pantry. Jim was present to accept his RCA Friends of Conservation award.
Rhonda Talbott, Veterans Administration Peer Support Specialist, was recognized for her efforts in working with local veterans to get them involved in the Brighton Grows Community Garden. There was 231 pounds of produce harvested, and it went to those who worked the garden, home bound veterans, and those who visited the VA Clinic. Rhonda was present to accept her RCA Friends of Conservation award.
Lynn Wells was recognized for all he has done for the District and all the other ag-related agencies throughout the years for his help to make an event great and to record that for history. Lynn has literally been taking photographs at events for decades. Lynn was present to accept his RCA Friends of Conservation award.
Doug McConnell presented the 2022 Muskingum County Big Tree Contest Winner to Stovertown Saint John’s Lutheran Church. This year’s winner was a White Oak measuring 85 feet high, with an average crown diameter of 100 feet and a trunk circumference of 160 inches or 13 feet 4 inches. Kay Wilson and Delores Wolfe were present to accept the award on behalf of Stovertown Saint John’s Lutheran Church.