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SWCD holds 60th annual meeting


The LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) held it 60th annual meeting on Feb. 16 near Shipshewana.

The district was first organized in 1952 in Bloomfield, Greenfield, Johnson, Lima, Milford, Springfield and Van Buren townships, along with parts of Eden, Clay and Newbury townships. The remaining areas joined the district by 1963.

It was noted that in 1961, the district received a total of $275 in state funding. The county first funded the district clerk position in 1965 at $1.25 per hour.

Overall expenses in 1965 were $1,000.

For 2011, the district reported total receipts of $365,036.81 with $229,361.25 of that coming from 319 grants for non-source pollution projects.

Total expenses for the district in 2011 were $408,465.31, with $297,760.69 of that going towards the 319 Grant projects and the Great Lakes Commission projects.

The district took time Thursday to recognize and honor several area residents.

Floyd Miller and Ervin Yoder were recognized as River Friendly Farmers.

Marlin Yoder was named Conservation Farmer of the Year.

Guy Thompson, editor of the LaGrange Standard-News, was recognized as Cooperator of the Year.

David Maas was named the Young Farmer of the Year.

Retiring ISDA representative Jim Lake was recognized for his years of service to the district.

Outgoing board member Mike Holcomb was also honored for his many years of work with the SWCD.

Mahlon Dunkel was honored with a Long Time Service Award.

Linda Chapman from Prairie Heights Elementary School was named Teacher of the Year.

Pasture Walk 2011 hosts were Ervin Yoder, Glenn Lambright, Larry Weaver, Glen Bontrager, Galen Nissley, Christy Graber and Vernon Miller.

The SWCD also recognized the top Soils Judging teams from LaGrange County. First place was the Prairie Heights team of Evan Gunthorp, Austin Connor, Alexandria Claudy and Joanna Claudy.

Westview’s second place team consisted of Reed Oesch, Colton Feller, Shane Miller and Kyle Baker.

The third place Prairie Heights team was Johnathon Tracey, Jason Perkins, Tyler Wheaton and Jason Miller.

Fourth place was the Westview team of Nelson Grate, Corey Hoopingarner, Parker Fought and Nicholas Raber.

Evan Gunthorp had the highest individual score in the contest.

The SWCD recognized Kelsey Younce, Jordan Younce and Hannah Perkins for the winning 4-H Fair Soil and Water Conservation projects.

SWCD poster contest winners were: Ashley Brown, Westview Elementary, 5th grade; Sadie Edsall, Wolcott Mills, 2nd grade; and Stormy Yockey, Prairie Heights High School, senior.