Agriculture in Ohio is a thriving industry with close to $9 billion generated in agricultural cash receipts, and over half of our land used as farm ground. In Warren County, development is expanding, but we continue to utilize over 90,000 acres for agriculture. The agricultural items raised in Warren County and across Ohio include soybeans, corn, wheat, vegetables, and meat products such as beef, pork and poultry.
Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District (Warren Co SWCD) assists the agricultural community with soil and water quality practices. Warren Co SWCD is proud to serve the agricultural community. To celebrate agriculture in our community for National Ag Week – March 21-26, 2023- we decided to highlight the farmers we know best—our Supervisors. If you missed our social media posts throughout the week, never fear! Here's a recap:
With a passion and love for agriculture, Samantha Steiner has been involved in the agricultural community all her life. Growing up, Samantha spent most of her time as the fourth generation on her family’s dairy farm and when she wasn’t on the farm, she was active in 4-H showing beef cattle and pigs. She credits her parents for instilling the importance of land and water conservation.
Nearly 10 years ago, Samantha started her own business, Dogwood Farm, LLC, where she raises grass-fed beef cattle and pastured poultry. To show proper stewardship to our natural resources and keep true to her philosophy of leaving things better than she found them, Samantha actively participates in conservation activities such as rotational grazing, a practice that promotes soil health and pasture regrowth, and nutrient management planning. She properly stores and composts manure before spreading and keeps livestock fenced out of waterways to reduce erosion and nutrient overload in streams.
Most recently, Samantha was named one of seven inaugural cohort members of the National Conservation Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership Institute. This program serves to build up future leaders in conservation with comprehensive training to help them meet the future needs of natural resource management, helping them to increase their capacity to navigate and manage complex conservation challenges, both current and future, at the local and national level. Samantha is currently the first vice president for the Ohio Federation of Soil & Water Conservation Districts.
If Bruce Goodwin thinks something is going to work, then he is going to do it. Farming roughly 2,000 acres of soybeans, corn, wheat, and hay in Warren County, as well as livestock, the Goodwins’ were one of the early innovators and users of cover crops in the county dating back to the 1980s. Bruce began incorporating more use of no-till onto his fields when an “experiment” of no-till beans created an impressive yield. Other conservation practices he participates in include grassed waterways and crop rotation.
First on the Board of Supervisors in 1994, and later re-elected(?) in 1995, Bruce liked how State and Federal agencies worked together. In 2014, Bruce and Carole were awarded with the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Award, an honor that highlights farmers for the practices they are implementing to help water quality and keep nutrients on the land for future generations. Besides farming, Bruce is a member of Pleasant Plain Council.
“Live according to the amount of ground you have” could be considered words to live by when it comes to Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District Board Supervisor, John Tkatschenko. Before becoming a Supervisor, John was the District Conservationist for Warren County from 1981 until his retirement in 2008. During this time, John and other NRCS staff rated 60,000 acres of cropland for 1985 Food Security Program, administered Ohio’s largest fly-on cover crop program of 3,500 acres, and surveyed and designed hundreds of waterways, ponds and WASCOBS for Warren County’s farm owners and operators.
Born in Germany, John was introduced to agriculture by way of a beef ranch in the plains of South Dakota. Later, his family moved to Salem, Ohio where they lived on a 60-acre farm. In 1992, John and his wife, Patty, bought 10 acres in Warren County where they have two cows, a handful of chickens, several fruit trees, multiple raised beds, and bail hay for their cows.
The saying, “you can take the boy off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy” is the perfect way to describe Chairman Jason Spellmire. While Jason grew up farming with his family, he left the farm to attend Dartmouth College and later joined the U.S. Army. While on leave from the military, and as he got older, Jason found himself enjoying being able to come home and help with the farm. Eventually, he found his way back to Warren County and has been helping on the farm since.
The Spellmire farm has been in the family since 1936 and presently, alongside his dad, Jason farms 1500 acres consisting of corn, wheat, soybeans, and hay. To demonstrate conservation and to be a positive steward of the land for future generations, Jason has enrolled ground into conservation activities such as 15 acres into CRP (Conservation Reserve Program), grassed waterways and participates in EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) for honeysuckle removal. He is active in bee keeping and tree planting. Jason also grows a variety of blackberries and pears and enjoys woodworking. Besides farming, Jason is heavily involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters community in Middletown.
Roy Miller and F & R Miller Farms operate with a good conservation ethic, employing no-till on much of their acreage and cover crops. The Miller farm operation encompasses over 1000 acres with grain, hay, pasture, cattle, and hogs in and around Clearcreek Township. Almost all of the cattle and hogs are sold direct to consumers as freezer beef and pork. Roy and his family have been involved in many 4-H activities and have partnered with the Warren Co SWCD on many conservation practices including tile drainage, grassed waterways, pond management, animal waste storage and nutrient management. In 2012, Roy and F & R Miller Farms were recognized as Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District’s Conservation Farmers of the Year and Roy was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2014.
Warren County SWCD Staff Blog
A blog to keep you informed on all the latest news at Warren County SWCD and in the conservation world.