When the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts met in Indianapolis last week, the group recognized supervisors who go above and beyond in helping promote soil and water conservation in their communities, and across the state. One outstanding supervisor was selected from each of the seven regions the association recognizes to compete for the competition. Then one supervisor was chosen as overall supervisor of the Year.
The contest was sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer. In the past, the magazine sponsored the Master Farm Conservationist award, which is no longer presented. In 2010 the magazine cosponsored the Conservation Farmer of the Year award with Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. This year Indiana Farm Bureau was sole sponsor for that award.
The winner of the Supervisor of the Year is Troy Hattery, of the Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District. The farmer and his wife were present at the banquet.
"I was shocked to get the award," Hattery said moments after receiving the plaque. "I know some of the other supervisors who were nominated, and the competition had to be very keen."
Hattery is active in promoting district activities in his county. The farmer is also a believer is cover corps. He has worked with cover crops on is farm to help improve the soil and prevent soil erosion during the winter. In fact, conservation district personnel say he also advises other farmers in the area about cover crops, and has helped line up helicopters to fly on cover corps in the fall so that they could get off and growing before harvest was completed, especially in wetter years, like 2009.
Hattery is also active in the district's youth education program. Many counties will host field days for elementary school students, usually of a certain grade, to increase their interest in soil and water conservation at an early age. He has been a presenter at many of these events, often telling 4th grade visitors the story of how food goes from being produced on the farm to winding up on their dinner table.
Indiana Prairie Farmer will visit Hattery soon, and report back on the ins and outs of how this conservation enthusiast keeps others enthused about conservation.