Skip

Conservation Education Continues in Menard County

Story by Jaime Tankersley

The Menard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to educate 4th-5th grade students during the annual Conservation Education Field Day on September 13, 2011, at the A.H. Murchison\Gene Whitehead Buildings in Menard.

Buses filled with eager elementary students were welcomed by Dick Runge, Menard County SWCD director, who also introduced his fellow directors and field day presenters.
After dividing into groups, the conservation education commenced.

NRCS employees Cliff Kinnibrugh and Amanda Bragg were on site with a rainfall simulator and soil samples used to explain local taxonomy. The rainfall simulator creates a weather element that causes soil erosion and highlights the benefits of proper range management.

Caroline Runge with the Menard County Underground Water District used a tool to show how water wells operate, how aquifers are recharged, and how contaminants can be spread throughout a watershed.
Joe Franklin, NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist, covered five natural resources and their importance: soil, water, air, plants, and animals. He followed that up with how to properly graze native grass land.

During the morning session students had a chance to embrace the modern technology used by the NRCS with computer, map reading, and conservation tool demonstration stations.

4-H County Program Director, Lisa Brown, kicked off the afternoon session with a presentation about what has occurred over the past year in the local 4-H program, highlighting all the possibilities to anyone who wants to become involved.

Before the buses were loaded and the students returned to school they were entertained and educated by Dr. Barron Rector, AgriLife professor and extension specialist.

He explained man's impact on his environment and how to become a steward of our natural resources.

"We had a great turn out for the field day," Chris Casaday, NRCS district conservationist said. "It is critical that we educate our youth about the importance of conservation; it becomes clearer to them in times of such severe drought how important our natural resources are."

For more information about upcoming SWCD and NRCS activities in Menard County you can contact them at 325-396-4708 or visit their office on 106 Bevins in Menard.

NRCS District Conservationist, Chris Casaday, explains to Menard 4th and 5th grade students how to read and observe using aerial photography during the Annual Menard Conservation Field Day. NRCS employees Carrie Koennecke (second from left) and Robert Gober (far right) explain how to use engineering tools that are utilized by the agency when applying conservation practices to the land.

NRCS District Conservationist, Chris Casaday, explains to Menard 4th and 5th grade students how to read and observe using aerial photography during the Annual Menard Conservation Field Day.

NRCS employees Carrie Koennecke (second from left) and Robert Gober (far right) explain how to use engineering tools that are utilized by the agency when applying conservation practices to the land.

Cliff Kinnibrugh, NRCS Zone 2 Agronomist, explains the effects of erosion by using a rainfall simulator during the recent Menard Conservation Field Day  
Cliff Kinnibrugh, NRCS Zone 2 Agronomist, explains the effects of erosion by using a rainfall simulator during the recent Menard Conservation Field Day.