The 74th Henry County SWCD Annual Meeting a Great Success Despite Threatening Winter Weather
The Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District's 74th Annual Meeting was held on January 22, 2014 at 6:00pm. It took place at the Moose Lodge located at 1025 South State Street in Geneseo, IL. We had great turn out, given the inclement winter weather conditions, of approximately 110 people. Following a delicious dinner, director elections were held. Awards and recognitions were also given out to the Conservation Farm Family for 2013, the Conservation Tour 2013 Host, the Henry County Poster Contest Winners, the Section 3 FFA Soil Judging Contest Winners, and the Council 2 Envirothon Winners. Angie Snook, curator of the Geneseo Historical Museum, was our presenter for the evening, giving a wonderfully educational presentation titled “Henry County: The Underground Railroad.” Angie’s presentation took attendees back 120 years into the history of the local area covering settlement of the area, abolitionist movements, Underground Railroad & slavery facts, and detailed stories of local individuals and their families tied to these trying times in America’s history. The evening concluded with door prize drawings. The Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District would like to thank all of our sponsors and donors for the evening’s event. Be sure to join us next year for our 75th Annual Meeting!
Henry County Comprehensive Plan Update
For those of you unable to make the public input meeting for the Henry County Comprehensive Plan on 12/11/13, here is an update.
I think the public input meeting for the Comprehensive Plan for the County went well. There was a good turnout with approximately 40 people there. Bi-state headed the meeting and gathered information via interactive activities with the attendees, really spurring some thoughts about the County.
In general, the main priority of those in attendance was agriculture and agricultural lands (prime & important), and making sure that these things were incorporated into the new Comprehensive Plan. I feel this message was heard “loud & clear.” The other main takeaways included attracting new commercial industry and commerce to areas along I-80 & I-74 thoroughfares, containing residential and commercial development to local city limits and their 1.5 mile buffers, and incorporating some sort of stormwater management into new development guidelines.
There will really be only one more public input meeting and that will be shortly before the time of the Plan’s installation. So if you were unable to attend the initial meeting the other night and would like to have some input on the new Plan’s guidelines, I was told to follow the Planning Committee’s activities closely and get involved with any focus groups that arise.
Finally, additional input can be place via an online survey before January 31, 2014: www.surveymonkey.com/s/HenryCountyCompPlan
Ryan J. Arch
Henry County SWCD
Tom & Margaret Hitzhusen Family from Henry County Named 2013 Conservation Farm Family & Governor’s Award Winner
Pictured from L to R: Charlie Meier (IL Representative), Steve Chard (Acting Bureau Chief-IL Dept. of Ag), Tom Hitzhusen, Margaret Hitzhusen, Lonnie Wilson (AISWCD President)
Tom & Margaret Hitzhusen’s family was named the 2013 Conservation Farm Family of the year and presented the Governor’s Award, during the Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts’ (AISWCD) 65th Annual Meeting/Bureau of Land & Water Resources’s (BLWR) Summer Conference award ceremony on Monday, July 23rd in Springfield, IL.
This award, sponsored by AISWCD, Brownfield Network, Prairie Farmer, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture – BLWR, recognizes one outstanding conservation farm family that exemplifies “Total Resource Management.” There are 97 Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts throughout the state, comprising 16 Land Use Councils (LUC). After advancing as the winner from their Land Use Council, the Hitzhusen family and their resource conservation efforts on their farm competed against the remaining 6 LUC winners in Springfield. The AISWCD Awards Committee selected the Hitzhusen family as the 2013 Conservation Farm Family of the year and presented the family the Governor’s Award.
In addition to a plaque distinguishing the family’s award, the Hitzhusen family also received a $500 check from Meijer and a Memorex Station Audio CD player from Brownfield Network. As recipients of the Governor’s Award, the Hitzhusen family will be honored at the Illinois State Fair Ag Day program on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 and will receive a personalized “Conservation Farm Family” sign for display on their farm.
The Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District, and its affiliates, would like to sincerely congratulate the Hitzhusen family for their dedication and commitment to soil and water conservation. Their family farm is truly a model of conservation for the county.
The Mission of the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District is to:
Provide leadership and administer programs to help conserve, improve and sustain our natural resources and environment.
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The Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District offers all programs and services without regard to color, nationality, religion, sex, age, marital status or handicap.