Appreciate the abundance of natural beauty in Ohio

Appreciate the abundance of natural beauty in Ohio

As we turn the calendar toward fall here in Ohio, what a fantastic time of year. One does not have to look far to realize the abundance of natural resources we are blessed with in our area.

We are fortunate to have a balance of lush, green pasture land; fertile, tillable fields; and a large amount of productive woodlands along with creeks, streams, ponds and lakes.

Particularly in the fall, we get to witness the beauty of the leaves changing colors along with the crops in the field getting prepared for harvest. None of this happens by accident.

The producers in our area work very hard and have done a magnificent job of adopting procedures and practices to protect the natural resources we are blessed with. There is always room for improvement and new practices. However, with the adoption of practices such as pasture management, rotational grazing, fencing out riparian areas, broad use of no till in crop production, cover crops and woodland management, we have made great strides to protect the natural resources that make our area so unique.

The producers in this area have taken many of the necessary steps to protect our soil and water so future generations also can benefit from these natural resources. This responsibility falls on all of us, not just the agricultural producers.

Just a couple examples of what a homeowner could do to assist in protecting our soil and water would be to not over fertilize a lawn or responsible use of chemicals when treating unwanted vegetation.

Many of these practices have been implemented with the assistance of your local county soil and water conservation districts. Funded by the county commissioners along with the state, county soil and water conservation districts consist of a board of supervisors along with dedicated employees who are passionate about the conservation of our natural resources.

These employees are tasked with assisting producers, property owners and more with the availability and implementation of these practices, which not only protect, but also often improve our natural resources.

No, you do not necessarily need to be a farmer to benefit from the assistance of your local soil and water. It could be an issue with a recreational pond, potential home site or drainage in your backyard, along with myriad other issues or questions you might have.

It truly does not matter whether you are running 500 mama cows, row cropping 1,000 acres, milking 500 cows, have a half-acre backyard or just simply want to learn more about the protection and improvement of our natural resources. Your local county soil and water conservation district has something for everyone.

This fall I encourage everyone, whether you are driving down a country road, sitting in a combine, on a utility vehicle checking cows or sitting on a front porch enjoying the color of the leaves, to take just a minute to appreciate the abundance of natural beauty and resources our corner of Ohio has to offer. Hoping everyone has a safe and bountiful fall season.

Matt Liggett is the vice chairman of the Tuscarawas County Soil and Water Conservation District.