Morgan County Soil and Water Conservation District
2022 Award Winners
On February 9, 2022, Morgan County Soil and Water Conservation District hosted its Annual Meeting for landowners. Several local citizens were presented awards for making an impact in soil and water conservation in Morgan County. We are ever grateful for the resources found with in our county but even more so the residents who devote so much energy caring for these valuable resources.
2022 Indiana River Friendly Farmer Award Nominees
In Indiana, since 1999, key conservation & agricultural organizations have sponsored the River Friendly Farmer Program. The statewide initiative recognizes farmers and landowners, who through good production management practices helps keep Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams clean. Annually, each county SWCD may nominate up to two farmers who do an outstanding job of protecting their rivers, lakes and streams through their every day conservation management practices on the farm in this statewide program. We would like to congratulate the farms of Mike and Jeff Buis and Tom and Debra Carter for being the 2022 nominees for this prestigious statewide recognition from Morgan County.
The farm of Mike and Jeff Buis, Prtn. has focused on regenerating soil health through the application of cover crops and use of no-till and minimal tillage farming practices. They have also reduced gully erosion by use of grassed waterways, diversions, grade stabilizations and water and sediment control basins through the Conservation Stewardship program. Nutrient management and pest management has been implemented on more than 2,900 acres across 4 counties through the CSP program as well. The Buis' have participated in cover crop trials through multiple SWCD, seed dealers, and the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Corn Grower's Associations and are working towards planting more cover crops each year.
The farm of Tom and Debra Carter has been using no-til and minimal till farming methods for 35-40 years. They care about the quality of water that leaves their farm and reaches streams, rivers and groundwater sources. Using the NRCS, SWCD, and their own resources, the Carter's have planted grassed waterways, completed a spring development, switched from conventional tillage to no-till and been planting cover crops for many years. The Carter's also perform regular soil testing so that nutrients are added precisely where they are needed. This nutrient management prevents the Carter's from overapplying and they have seen a benefit of organic material since they have started the cover crops. The grassed waterways also provide added habitat for birds and wildlife.
2022 Youth in Conservation Award
Violet is currently a Freshman at Martinsville High School and involved in 4-H, FFA, Natural Resources Spark Club, Orchestra, and Color Guard. She is passionate about invasive species of plants and is planning on pursuing a college degree in in a field that will provide her work that is outdoors. Violet’s nomination for this award comes from her love for the outdoors and her willingness to participate in local community service projects that help the environment and educate others of the importance of conservation. She enjoys helping around the family farm and caring for the woodlands. Violet has participated in many conservation and environmental clean-up projects such as White River clean-ups, roadside clean-ups, and several Weed Wrangles around Morgan County. She hopes to further her education in conservation at a college level and work in the field of conservation as an adult to ensure that her career is in a field where she can feel passionate about her work.
2022 Conservationist of the Year Award
Mr. Roy Mc Guffey
Each year, the Morgan County SWCD selects one landowner whom has exhibited a desire to improve the soil and water quality on their farm and implemented new conservation practices in order to do so. Roy McGuffey has been collaborating with the Natural Resource Conservation Service since 2018 to eradicate invasive species of brush, increase pasture rotation, exclude his livestock from creeks, ponds, and wooded areas and installed feeding and watering pads to prevent erosion and manure run-off. He has seen an improvement in the quality of water leaving his farm, a decrease in erosion, and an increase in profit when his cattle have access to drier footing to eat and drink and a cleaner water source through the watering system. He continues to improve his pasture systems and eliminate invasive species through out the forested areas of his farm.
2022 Friend of Conservation Award
Ducky Troxel has always enjoyed spending time outdoors. A love for hunting and wildlife encouraged him to begin habitat rehabilitation projects some 40 years ago. At first, he did it as a hobby, but soon he found that it could be a life-long career. While a Habitat Coordinator for the West Central Quails Unlimited, the organization was awarded the prestigious National Habitat Award for the work they did to restore quail habitat in central Indiana, focusing on areas such as the Wabash & White Rivers. Mr. Troxel has also assisted with the development of well-head protection areas in Morgan County at Indian Creek and Mapleturn Utilities. He implemented a conservation project in Paragon that included a 40-acre tree planting and 80 acres of prairie grass. Besides the work he has done here in Morgan County, Ducky has worked in land management in Colorado, Oklahoma, and assisted with levee plantings on the Mississippi River near St. Louis.
Currently, Ducky has been charged with the conservation and wildlife habitat maintenance of 605 acres in Morgantown. While riding around the property with Ducky in his side-by-side and talking, it is evident that Ducky loves creating habitat for the wildlife that call the property their home. In order to improve the quality of water that flows into the wetlands he has overseen the installation of 126 Water and Sediment Control Basins on the property, all waterways are 60 foot wide and planted with prairie grass and he has planted 15-foot buffer strips around all of the woods. Most smaller sections of woods have been connected to larger forests using tree and shrub plantings to create wildlife corridors for safe travel. Ducky is still working on increasing the prairie habitat, invasive plant control, planting more trees and trail maintenance on the property. Congratulations to the Morgan County SWCD 2022 Friend of Conservation Award Winner, Mr. Ducky Troxel!