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Steve Schantz Named Greene County Conservation Farmer Of The Year
Updated March 2, 2016 6:56 AM
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(BLOOMFIELD) - The Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District named Steve Schantz as its 2015 Conservation Farmer of the Year, and Shelby Hovious as its 2015 Conservation Teacher of the Year.

The Conservation Farmer of the Year award is given each year to individuals or families that demonstrate good stewardship of natural resources such as soil and water. Their contributions reflect reduced pollution to water sources, decreases in soil erosion and increased wildlife habitat.

Steve Schantz is a livestock producer who, in the last two years, installed more than 8,000 lineal feet of interior permanent fencing for paddocks ( only 2,966 feet of which he received cost-share program funds for), inter-seeded 25.5 acres of legumes and grasses to his existing pasture, installed approximately 1500 feet of waterline for livestock watering and developed a prescribed grazing plan on his 25.5 acres to ensure that he will efficiently rotate his cattle throughout the year on a 4-7 day cycle.

Schantz has placed 5,576 square feet of heavy use protection areas around his waterers and feeders, ensuring that his animals are on solid ground and their waste can be properly handled. He has installed one stream crossing and limited access control to prevent his cows from crossing the stream at all points on its banks.
These efforts have resulted in the protection of the stream banks from erosion and the assurance that the animals are only in the stream at the crossing.

Schantz also put in two permanent watering facilities and three portable tanks, ensuring that his animals have access to water in every paddock as they are rotated.

Due to the efforts of this year's conservation farmer, a very poorly maintained and low fertility cattle farm has become a highly productive and environmentally friendly operation.

Schantz opened up his farm last fall to the Soil and Water Conservation District to have a field day.

Participants at that field day not only had the opportunity to hear speakers discussing pasture management, but were able to take a pasture walk to see what good pasture management procedures look like in real life.

The Conservation Teacher of the Year award is presented annually to an individual that imparts education about conservation to the youth of Greene County, for the next generation of farmers, land owners and families.

The GCSWCD award winner for 2015, Shelby Hovious, is praised for fostering student work ethics not only in her classroom, but also in the student's personal lives.

She has gotten her students more involved in outside educational events as well as in classroom learning.
Her passion for agriculture and to teach others are cited as making her deserving of this award, and the District wishes her well on her continued journey as an agriculture educator for students in Eastern-Greene County.

The annual meeting also recognized the 24 registered Hoosier Homestead Farms of Greene County. This recognition goes to families with farms that have been owned by the same family for 100 years or more.

The event's speaker, Susan Brocksmith of the Vincennes University Agribusiness Program, spoke of how farming and agriculture have impacted her life.

The event held on February 16, was catered by Rita Dale and her staff, and May's Flowers provided floral centerpieces for the event.

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