Morrison and McKee reelected to Soil and Water Conservation board in recent election, annual meeting
Ozark County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual meeting and election were held Friday, June 22, at the office in Gainesville. There were 180 in attendance for the annual meeting, according to district specialist Melisa Myers. Hamburgers and hot dogs were served, and 100 landowners voted in the SWCD board election.
In territory 2, incumbent Marty Morrison ran against Konnie Plumlee. In territory 4, incumbent J.D. McKee ran against Janet Taber. Incumbents Morrison and McKee were re-elected to serve four-year terms.
Soil and Water Conservation programs provide a financial incentive for agricultural landowners to use conservation practices to control erosion and improve water quality by voluntarily installing the best management practices on their land. The Soil and Water Conservation program is funded by the one-tenth-of-one-percent Parks, Soils and Water Sales tax, which is on the ballet every 10 years.
Each SWCD office has a local board of supervisors. The board consists of four locally elected members and one member from the University of Missouri Extension. Ozark County board members are J.D. McKee, Marty Morrison, T.J. Lewis, Travis McConnaughy and Extension specialist Randy Wiedmeier.
The conservation practices with financial incentive available are: drill wells, pipeline, tanks, fencing, and liming for rotational grazing systems; fencing exclusions for woodland and creek areas; spring developments and well decommissioning to protect ground source water; seedings to protect areas from erosion; and pest management to help landowners control weeds and chemical application rates.
The Ozark County Soil & Water Conservation District received a total allocation of $858,796.00 for fiscal year 2018. Ozark County SWCD staff members were able to obligate $650,792.26 for financial incentive programs to Ozark County landowners for conservation practices on their farms. Records show 163 contracts were written. Fiscal year 2018 was a record year for the district, according to Myers.
Fiscal year 2019 started July 1. To participate in the financial incentive programs, landowners must register for farm and tract number at the Farm Service Agency in the Ava USDA Service Center. A perimeter fence must be in place. Landowners must complete the Landowner Authorization Form and the Vendor Form available at Ozark County SWCD. A soil test must be pulled for every 20 acres on practices requiring a soil test.
Ozark County SWCD has no-till drills and T-post drivers available for landowners to rent.
All Ozark County SWCD services are voluntary and free of charge. For more information on SWCD programs, stop by the office and visit with district specialists Laramie Johnson and Melisa Myers at 260 Suite 1 Main Street, Gainesville, or call 417-679-4876. The Ozark County Soil and Water District is on Facebook.