Soil & Water annual meeting held


LCSWCD vice-chairman Chuck Hanley at Thursday's meeting in Pontiac / CIFN photo.

Those attending the 77th annual meeting of the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District Thursday morning enjoyed new surroundings.


The meeting was held for the first time at the Precision Technology Institute on south Deerfield Road in Pontiac.


“We are glad to have everybody in and talk a little agronomy,” said PTI farm manager and Precision Planting commercial agronomist Jason Webster.


Webster gave the audience an introduction to the farm and what all happens across the vast farm fields on the west end of town. He explained the sustainability project utilizing farm tile to properly drain the soil before water is moved into a farm reservoir to use for irrigation.


The meeting space inside the Precision Planting building at the PTI farm is described as large but informal.


“We’ve got multiple conference rooms where we can have different sessions,” explained Webster.


This year marked the return to an in-person annual meeting format as everything was virtual for the LSCWCD last year with a one-day election at the office.


“This year, we are back face to face,” said LCSWCD chairman Lee Bunting. “We’ve had a busy year.”


Bunting noted there are goals to meet by November 2025 when it comes to the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.


“We have to put our heads together to make some changes.”


Bunting, who farms near Dwight and Emington, said he raised a nice crop last year. In fact, it was one of the better crops over the years. Now, the idea is to cut costs while still getting decent yields.


“Of course, we have good prices but with input costs and everything, we’ll have to keep the pencil sharp,” Bunting added.


During Thursday’s meeting, Partners in Conservation awards were presented to Sara Hostetter, Josh Donze, Swartz Farm and American Farm Land Trust. The Stan Blunier Family received the Conservation Farm Family of the Year award.


Following a general election, Chuck Hanley was chosen to serve as vice-chairman and Marcus Maier as secretary for LCSWCD. Each will serve a two-year term on the board.

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