The importance of land and water conservation will come to the forefront when the Bourbon County Conservation District holds its annual meeting and awards ceremony later this month.
The event, scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Uniontown High School commons area, is held yearly to recognize Bourbon County landowners who promote conservation.
Activities for the evening will include dinner, a short business meeting, presentation of the conservation awards and awards for the student poster, limerick and essay contest and door prizes.
Conservation awards to be presented this year include the Continuing Conservation Award to Roberta and Wayne Peck, of 845 240th St., Fort Scott; the Bankers Award to Gayle and David Goodbody, of 1068 Kansas Road, Redfield; the Water Quality Award to Robert and Joyce Love, of 1676 Express Road, Fort Scott; and the Grassland Award to Peggy and Jack Jackson, of 871 Fern Road, Fort Scott.
Bourbon County Conservation District Manager Mandy Shoemaker said trophies will be presented to students from area schools who participated in the annual poster, limerick and essay contest. Minutes from last year's annual meeting will be read and approved.
There is one spot on the BCCD Board of Directors that will be up for election this year. Jim Womeldorf, the nominating committee chairman, will contact people who will be nominated for that seat and a vote will take place that evening to fill the spot, Shoemaker said.
The Kansas Bankers Award recognizes landowners who have applied major conservation work to their properties over the years. The Water Quality Award recognizes landowners who use buffer strips or filter strips to protect ponds and other waterways on their properties.
The strips are pieces of grass that are planted next to fields and filter dirt before it enters rivers and other bodies of water. Strips can help improve the quality of the water and soil, and terraces can prevent soil erosion.
The Continuing Conservation Award is presented each year to a landowner who has continued to maintain conservation practices over the years. Winners of this award must be previous winners of the Kansas Bankers Award and BCCD board members pick the winner, Shoemaker said.
The Grassland Award honors landowners who maintain their pastures and any grasses they have planted for quality grass. Qualifications for the Grassland Award are brush management, weed control and grassland management.
Winners of the conservation award are chosen each year by a committee made up of several people with knowledge of conservation practices. Committee members meet, take tours of nominated landowners' property and then choose winners. The process starts with the forming of a nominating committee and nominees are submitted to K-State Extension Agent Delta George. Committee members then take the land tours and each fill out a score sheet. George tabulates the results and the winners are notified.
The BCCD will disclose its financial reports and district activities for the year.