The Grayson County Extension Office hosted the 43rd annual Grayson County Agricultural Awards banquet this past Tuesday, March 29.
The guest speaker for this year’s Agricultural Awards was also the recipient of the 2015 Master Conservationist Award: Warren Beeler, who serves as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy.
The recurring theme of Beeler’s speech was that today’s farmer must do more with less: produce more with less land on which to farm; produce more with less of a carbon footprint on the environment; and produce more with less funding.
While these are challenges, Beeler said the only issue he finds in the contemporary agricultural community is that “we’re not proud enough.”
According to Beeler, today’s farmers are producing more, safer, and higher quality products on less than ever in history, and today’s agricultural production is more environmentally friendly, leaving “only a shadow of a carbon footprint.”
Warren Beeler was presented the 2015 Master Conservationist award by Jerry Shartzer, a supervisor of the Grayson County Conservation District, in recognition of his and his daughter Megan’s successfully completing a farm plan to at least 90 percent on all acres of their sheep and cattle farm in Walnut Grove.
Whitney Carman, Grayson County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, presented the 2015 Total Conservation award to Roger White in recognition of his application of conservation technology to all phases of agriculture on the farm.
Carman said that White’s pasture and forage program supports a highly productive commercial beef enterprise, and White excels in pasture management, using rotational grazing, fertility management, and weed control for high quality forage and alfalfa production.
Michael Shull, a supervisor of the Grayson County Conservation District, recognized the local winners of the annual Grayson County Writing and Art Contest.
Josh Krom, an 8th grade student at St. Paul School, won the 2015 Conservation Writing contest. Krom’s essay was chosen as the top entry of the 12 entered from grades 6 through 12.
Rylee Higdon, a 5th grade student at Clarkson Elementary School, won the 2015 Conservation Art contest. Higdon’s poster was chosen as the top entry of the 34 drawn in grades kindergarten through 5th.
Kim Seaton, Chairman of the Grayson County Conservation District, presented the 2015 Cooperator of the Year award to Mike Pierce in recognition of his work on his cow/calf operation outside of Caneyville.
Finally, special recognition was given to Ray Ramsey for his 48 years of service to the United States Department of Agriculture and the producers of Grayson County, as well as Nancy Cain for her more than 20 years of service to the Grayson County Agricultural and Recreational Park.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.