LONDON, Ohio — The McGlinch family was one of five families awarded the 2017 Conservation Farm Family Awards at the Farm Science Review on Thursday by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).
This was the 34th year of the awards program where families were recognized in each region of the state.
“For 34 years we have been honoring families for their commendable work in conservation farming and each year we are amazed at the lengths to which they go on their farms,” said Kirk Hines, chief of the department’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation. “The best management practices these families have put into place benefit all Ohioans, and serve as an example of what individuals can do to protect our natural resources.”
According to the ODA, Greg and Gary McGlinch have more than 450 acres in Darke County. Major crops include corn, soybeans, wheat and cereal rye. They also raise hogs, meat chickens and laying hens. The McGlinches use soil tests to monitor soil fertility and plan nutrient applications. They have experimented with a variety of cover crops and have been cooperators with the Darke Soil & Water Conservation District for 30 years. In addition to applying the manure from their own hogs and poultry, they work with nearby livestock producers to apply manure as fertilizer, keeping soil nutrient levels in the maintenance range.
“I was surprised and very honored,” said Greg McGlinch about receiving the award.
He said the award was “pretty neat,” and was happy his family was there to receive it with him and his father Gary McGlinch. Greg also attended the ceremony with his children: Patrick, Gabe, Oliver and Maggie; his mother Sharon; his brother Mike and his daughter Raegen.
“We just do what is right for the land. We work at land conservation, and we have been showcasing this conservation with the community – sharing the information,” said Greg about why he thought his family farm was selected. “Taking care of the land is important for future generations. We are only borrowing it.”
Since 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Awards program has recognized 176 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.
“Agriculture is a foundation on which our state was built, and conservation is an important key to maintaining this foundation,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels. “Each of these award-winning families is doing their part not only to provide food, fiber and fuel for those around the world, but also to ensure their land can thrive and continue providing these necessities for generations to come.”
In accepting the award, Greg McGlinch said, “It takes a family to preserve what we have got. We are very fortunate here in Ohio.”
The McGlinches were nominated for the award by Matt Aultman, President of the Darke County Farm Bureau.
“They are probably one of the best examples of farm conservation in our county,” he said.
The other families honored were: The Rufenacht Family of Fulton County; Dale and Rita Daniels of Erie County; Wendell and Greg Waters of Coshocton County and Jim and Denise Sherman of Delaware County.
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. For more information or to apply individuals can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).
Rural Life Today Editor Gary Brock contributed to this story.