On behalf of the Rice Family, Seneca Conservation District is please to announce the 2019 Tia J Rice Memorial Scholarship winners!

Tia Rice was our past District Program Administrator; in 2015, she lost her battle to cancer. To remember and honor Tia, family, friends, and businesses donated money to a scholarship fund for students pursuing a career in a conservation or agricultural related field. Due to Tia’s love for the Ohio State Buckeyes, the recipient is also required to attend a branch of The Ohio State University. The winners were selected by the Rice family and submitted to the Board. Below are the winners!

Lauren Burner

“My passion for agriculture started at a very young age. My family raises beef cattle for meat as well as for any local 4-H member looking to bring a steer the the county fair. Not only do we raise cattle, but we also crop rotate corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. Crop rotation is a very important practice so that the soil can maximize its minerals and grow the best crops possible. On top of crop rotation, we also do other conservation methods on our farm and land. All our soil gets tested by our local Soil and Water so that we can see what minerals the soil is lacking in and proceed accordingly. On top of crop rotation and soil sampling, we also practice no tillage and cover crops. In this practice, we do not work up our ground before we plant. No till maximizes our soil efficiently by reduced erosion and compaction. Also, our plants thrive in no tillage practice. Having a great relationship with our local Soil and Water is a key aspect when wanting to maximize your soil and acreage for your farm. It is very important to practice conservation methods so that your are preserving the land for years to come. Conservation has taught me responsibility throughout my years on my family farm.

How is your education and career path going to improve natural resources for the future?

“I am currently attending The Ohio State University: ATI campus in Wooster, Ohio where I am majoring in Community Leadership and Extension Education with a minor in Animal Science. I will then continue to The Ohio State University: Columbus campus in pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Community Leadership and Extension Education. My career aspiration is to be an extension education agent. In this position, I will work with my community to help give them the opportunity to take part in learning and experiencing new opportunities that are available within the agricultural industry. When it comes to the improvement of natural resources and the continuation of my education, I can have the ability to learn more of the advancement of technology when it comes to the proper requirements of soil composition, tillage practices, or even erosion situations in different land areas. Furthering my education can lead to ways that I can help as an extension educator by advocating the the local farmers. This will be done by helping them learn and incorporate the new practices, and how it can leave a lasting impact on our environment.”

Nathan Kimmet

“I have lived in rural Seneca County my entire life and because of this, I have been connected to Conservation/Agriculture. I was a member of 4-H for ten years exhibiting poultry and swine at the fair. I was also a member of Mohawk FFA where I competed in the soil management and wildlife management contest. These contests taught me a lot about sustainable agriculture and conservation and largely influenced my agronomy major selection. I also have worked at Tiffin Farmers and Sunrise Cooperative in Attica for agricultural internships. Finally, I have worked for local farmers in the community during the summers for years doing various farmhand tasks.

Nathan is a graduate of Mohawk High School (2017). Nathan currently attends college at The Ohio State University – Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio.

How is your education and career path going to improve natural resources for the future?

“My education and career path will improve natural resources for the future of not only Seneca County, but for the entire state and nation as well. Agronomists are the forerunners for sustainable agriculture and conservative farming techniques. Agronomy is defined as the science of soil health sand crop production, meaning that a big part of this career has to do with soil conservation and health. Agronomist work to educate and work alongside farmers and producers to make their operations more effective and efficient. This can only be done through the conservation of soil and the reduced use of herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers which in turn leads to increased water quality in Ohio’s waterways and lakes. Agronomists help farmers realize where they can cut back on these chemical applications and substitute them from more conservative practices. Agronomists work to improve overall soil health and only apply fertilizer or herbicides when and where it is needed. New and improved technologies in modern farming equipment have allowed farmers to implement variable rate application equipment into their operations which allow for safer and smarter chemical applications that improve the land we all live on. These technologies are still being introduced to the farming community and it is the responsibility of agronomist and crop specialist to educate and demonstrate to farmers and producers these technologies, so they can being implementing them into their operations. As an agronomist in the making, I am excited to continue learning about sustainable agriculture and I am eager to continue working with farmers to develop more effective technologies and solutions that will help benefit our county’s and state’s natural resources.”

About Morgan Metzger

“Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals.” ~ Aldo Leopold. Livestock production has always been a passion of mine and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I come from a family farm where we raise livestock and grain. I am glad to be managing the office to help the team pull off events, accomplish our goals and build stronger farms, homes and schools in Seneca County.

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