Farmers honored at Conservation Dinner

BY HELEN B. FOSTER, Correspondent

Mike and Jo Ellen Greene of Thompson received the Co-operators of the Year award from District Manager Jim Garner during the Susquehanna County Conservation District’s annual banquet on Oct. 14, at The Summit inNew Milford.

Describing themselves as, “two retired Navy Commanders,” the Greenes told of all the improvements they have made to their property  while using conservation programs from the local office as well as  other programs from federal agencies.

Also honored were No-Till Farmers of the Year, Mr. and Mrs. Denis Halstead ofCliffordTownshipand the LeRoy and Scott Aldrich family ofBridgewaterTownship.

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., was to be keynote speaker for the evening but was unable to attend.

His District Director Dave Weber attended and commended the work of the local Conservation District.

“I am proud of the work these local units of government do with landowners to help manage and protect land and water resources,” Weber said, quoting remarks prepared for Marino. “I would also like to acknowledge your county commissioner, MaryAnn Warren. Her service as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts has been dedicated and tireless. I know I speak for so many of you here tonight when I say how proud we are of all she has accomplished.”

In addressing the most important issues facing his constituents, Marino through Weber said he had kept the economy and job creation at the forefront of his efforts. He also said he has spent much attention on exploring the economic future of the Marcellus Shale as it helps the U.S.become more reliant on domestic sources of energy.
The congressman touched on lower unemployment for the area; small business thriving; increase in revenue for farmers, but he also said he recognizes the need for caution.

“If we can respect the natural beauty of this land while preserving its integrity, the Marcellus Shale offers endless potential for this community and this district as a whole,” Weber said on Marino’s behalf.

Garner told those attending of Marino’s visit to flooded areaa and how the congressman gave people his phone number and told them to call if they needed help that was not available to them.

Talisman Energy was recognized for its contribution to the county’s annual Envirothon that in 2011 saw 140 high school students benefiting from the program.

This is just one of the youth programs financed by sponsors and the various fundraisers conducted by the conservation district, Garner said.