Conservation Districts Shower Producers with Praise

As spring rains are being kind to some farmers and ranchers around the state, many conservation districts are showering their local agricultural producers with praise at appreciation banquets for all the great conservation work they do to protect Oklahoma’s natural resources. By partnering with conservation districts on projects to protect stream banks from grazing herds or use cover crops to protect soil health, conservation-minded producers are helping to improve water and air quality for all Oklahomans, often while increasing agricultural output. The most outstanding of these producers are recognized annually by conservation districts.

Agriculture awards banquets, or “bankers banquets” in the case of banquets sponsored by local banks, have a long history among conservation districts. Many have been held annually for over 50 years and act as a venue for farmers and ranchers, conservationists, FFA and 4-H members, and decision-makers at the local and state level to share a meal, celebrate conservation, and honor hard-working agricultural producers.

As local producers were being honored at the 56th Annual Banker’s Award Banquet hosted by Woodward County Conservation District, Jimmy Harrel, CEO of Bank of Western Oklahoma said, “If asked what are some the last things you would give up when it comes down to survival, many would say food, water, air, clothes, and shelter. All of those things come from the land, and as farmers and ranchers, we are in charge of taking care of 80% of it.”

Conservation Districts that hosted banquets in March and April 2014 included Murray County Conservation District, Dewey CCD, Kay CCD, Payne CCD, Woodward CCD, Logan CCD, and a joint Blaine County banquet hosted by Blaine CCD, Cimarron Valley CD, and Central North Canadian River CD.

You can learn more about conservation work going on near you and what you can do to help by contacting your local conservation district.