The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Forbes Family 2015 Conservation Farm Family Of The Year

The Hugh Forbes Family of Media, received this year's Conservation Farm Family Award in recognition of their outstanding conservation efforts on their family farm.

The Forbes Family has installed several conservation practices including: waterways, dry dams, windbreak plantings, filter strips, stream bank erosion projects, and have been involved in a number of other conservation practices. They also practice no-till while planting. Hugh s strong philosophy of trying to improve the land comes from wanting to leave the farm better than he found it.

The presentation was made during the 69th Annual meeting of the Henderson County Soil and Water Conservation District, February 23rd, held in Lomax at The Pink. Board member Harold Ravenscraft, Lomax, and Chairman Larry Sterett, Biggsville, presented the award.

Sterett, gave the welcome and offered the invocation before a delicious meal was served by the staff of  The Pink owned by Harold and Maude Ravencraft.

Sterett called the meeting to order and special guests were introduced by Brad Flatt.

Tom Spreitler presented the 2014 Minutes and Finances for approval.

Jerry Keimig presented the election results for approval. Harold Ravenscraft and Larry Sterett were re-elected to the District Board at the election.

Shannon Pence, Resource Conservationist, gave a Year in Review Presentation. The power point presentation included several pictures of conservation projects during construction and after the work was completed, and highlighted the district's accomplishments for the year. Some of the highlights included stream bank projects, building 56 acres of waterways, which is equivalent to 12 miles of waterways at 40 foot wide, restoring 20 acres of wetlands, planting 28 acres to prairie grasses for pheasant and quail habitat, and putting on the ground over $250,000 in conservation improvements in Henderson County.

Shannon then went on to explore what is erosion and will it ever be stopped. He told the crowd erosion has formed the landscape we see on a daily basis and while it can never be stopped the district does what it can to slow the process. He also told the crowd everyone in attendance has either paid to stop erosion or paid to see it. This was followed up with pictures of erosion we pay to see such as the Grand Canyon, scenic rivers and spectacular rock formations.

Shannon showed what we pay to stop here in Western IL such as the cropland erosion, gully formations along the bluff, and stream bank erosion.

The movie Modern Pioneers, filmed in Henderson County in 1952, was played for the audience. It highlighted conservation efforts in the county and some who were responsible for the efforts. Many familiar faces and sights around the county were in this film, and the district thanked Curt Eisenmayer and Mitch Lefler for obtaining the movie. The district is working on making a copy of the movie available for those who would like one.

The evening then moved to the featured speaker of the evening, Rick Collins of Knoxville, IL. Rick owns Trillium Dell Timberworks and focuses on the restoration of barns and older structures. His techniques copy the pre-industrial revolution construction methods and techniques. Ricks interest in history has led him all over the US and Europe studying structures, designs and construction of historic structures . He had a great slide presentation on the history of barns and some of his projects. He finished with a question and answer session which was enjoyed by many.

Door prizes donated by The Pink concluded the evening that was enjoyed by everyone in attendance. The Henderson County SWCD appreciates all the individuals and business' that help make the Annual Meeting a successful event.

Accepting the 2015 Conservation Farm Family Award was Hugh Forbes and his wife Sheila and son Jeff Forbes (left) and children Tara, Joshua, and Hayden Forbes and Jackson Limmerman.