District rewards conservation work, academics

Dave Vorhees
Staff Writer

The Auglaize County Soil and Water District conducted its 71st annual meeting Tuesday. Prior to the meeting the attendees were treated to a dinner provided by Everyone Cooks Catering. During the meeting scholarships and awards were handed out, a special guest speaker told of his travels abroad and how Holland spreads manure. As part of the event, two supervisors were elected.
The meeting started off with an opening prayer by Lou Brown who also welcomed the crowd and the speakers for the evening. It was Ron Wilker's honor to hand out this year's Auglaize SWCD District Scholarship. The $500 scholarship is awarded to the high school senior or student currently enrolled in college that is pursuing a degree in natural science or in an agriculture related program. This year the winner of the scholarship was Aaron Birkemeier. Aaron is the son of Craig and Jennifer Birkemeier of Wapakoneta and is currently enrolled in West Virginia University earning his degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resource. Aaron was unable to attend but his parents were at the meeting to accept the scholarship for him.
Paul Knueve announced this year's winner of the outstanding cooperator award: Jack Leffel. Leffel farms 325 acres of cropland and has CRP grass filters installed and upland bird habitat buffers along with two wetland restoration projects that total 26 acres. Leffel has also installed field windbreaks and grass waterways that are also enrolled in CRP programs. Leffel was unable to attend the meeting and accept his award in person but thanked the SWCD for the honor in a letter . . .

For the rest of this story and more, pick up Wednesday's edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.