LONDON, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has recognized five families — including a Miami County family — representing each region of the state as winners of the 2015 Conservation Farm Family Awards at the Farm Science Review in London. This was the 32nd annual awards program.

“Ohio farmers must constantly plan to meet the changes in the world around them. Today, we had the privilege to recognize five such families who exemplify that ability to plan for change,” said Michael Bailey, chief of the ODNR Division of Soil and Water. “We are grateful for the commitment and dedication of these five farm families who have gone the extra mile to demonstrate that we can protect our environment while still producing the food needed to help feed a growing world.”

The five families honored were: Ron and Barb Snyder of Wood County; Richard Thompson of Trumbull County; John and Cindi Quinn of Muskingum County; Dan and Tawni Batdorf of Miami County; and Dr. Patricia Speck of Vinton County.

The Area 4 winners are the Dan and Tawni Batdorf farm more than 520 acres in Miami County. Their major crops include corn, soybeans and wheat, and they also raise Holstein steers. The Batdorfs have been district cooperators for 38 years. Conservation practices include cover crops, which they have applied for nearly 10 years, no-till, conservation tillage, crop rotation and grassed waterways. The Batdorfs have hosted many cover crop field events, including the 2015 Ohio No-Till Council Cover Crop Field Day. Additionally, Dan was named the 2014 Outstanding No-Till Farmer by the Ohio No-Till Council. When asked to describe their conservation philosophy, they said, “Just doing the right things and trying to preserve the soil for future use.”

Since 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Awards program has recognized 166 Ohio farm families for their exemplary efforts conserving soil, water, woodland, wildlife and other natural resources on the land they farm. Conservation farm families also host a variety of educational programs, opening their farms to schools, scout groups, farm organizations and others.

In addition to receiving $400 each from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the families were also featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer magazine and received plaques from ADS Hancor Inc. Ohio Farmer magazine has sponsored the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards since the program’s inception. Nominations are sought annually between January and May, and Ohio farming families are encouraged to apply.

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