Two farmers were recognized for their conservation efforts at the annual meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts held Tuesday, July 31 in Springfield. Outstanding District Director Awards are sponsored by Prairie Farmer and Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Stephen Owens was recognized as the overall Outstanding District Director for his work within the Henry County SWCD. Owens has been a board member for the past seven years and is currently serving as treasurer/secretary. He has served on many SWCD committees over the years, which have kept him involved and knowledgeable at the local, state and national level. "Whether SWCD is working on budgets, the annual plan or work, new ideas, or personnel issues Stephen's input is very beneficial," his nominators said of him. "Through Stephen's dedication to the SWCD, he shows his need to give to others the effort necessary to build a better tomorrow. Stephen's hard work, his analytical style, genuine warmth and friendliness produce results."
Warren County's Gary Jensen was also recognized as an Outstanding District Director. He has installed a streambank stabilization project, implemented and maintains no-till practices and utilizes rotational grazing. He's volunteered countless hours to the Cedar Creek Conservation Area. "Gary is a true leader in the local community in his use of conservation initiatives and practices," his nominators said of him. "He has taught by example and has inspired several local agriculture students to explore best management practices."
Steve Higgins, of Warren County and Jim King of Henry County were recognized with Distinguished Merit Awards. Don and Enid Shepherd of Kirkland were presented the 2007 R.J. Vollmer Sustainable Agriculture Farmer Award.