The McPherson County Conservation District will hold its 2017 annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the McPherson County 4-H Building. The meeting will open with dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by the business meeting at 7:15 p.m. Reservations are required for the dinner. The business meeting is open to the public. Dinner reservations should be made by Jan. 18 by mail or phone to McPherson County Conservation District, 200 S. Centennial Drive, Suite A, McPherson KS 67460, or by phone at 620-241- 1836 ext. 3067.

During the business meeting, annual financial and activity reports will be presented and there will be the election of two supervisors to the board. Three McPherson County producers will be recognized for conservation work: Dale and Karil Sader, Lindsborg, for wildlife habitat; Kent and Nancy Rawson, Lindsborg, for windbreak; and Tim and Sherlyn Nikkel, Inman, for irrigation conservation practices.

Renowned photojournalist Larry Hatteberg will be the featured entertainment for the evening. Hatteberg, who retired from KAKE-TV in 2014 after 51 years of telling the stories of ordinary Kansans, is known throughout the nation as an Emmy award-winning video storyteller who can “touch” people with his television journalism. He has won over 120 national, regional and state awards and set broadcast standards for television journalists all over the world. Since retirement he has maintained an active speaking and workshop schedule and pursues his love of still photography.

He has consulted with over 40 television stations and Defense Department photojournalists on the art of video storytelling. His work can be viewed and purchased online at Hatteberg is also the author of two successful books and DVDs profiling Kansans who make our state a unique place to live.

The McPherson County Conservation District actively supports conservation of land and water, wildlife habitat development and related activities in the county under the direction of an elected board of supervisors. Activities in 2016 included the state-funded Water Resource Cost-Share program, which assisted landowners in building and repairing terraces, diversion systems, and building and seeding or repair of grassed waterways. The district continues work with producers and landowners in remediation along the Smoky Hill River through stream bank stabilization. In cooperation with Harvey County and the city of Wichita, the district has been involved in a multi-year atrazine run-off study that has resulted in a number of producers incorporating farming practices which ensure less atrazine runoff.

Board of supervisor members who served in 2016 are Brad Shogren, Gary Patrick, Robert Kaufman, Joe Larson and Baron Shively. Brad Shogren’s and Joe Larson’s positions are up for election. Natural Resource Conservation Service personnel working in the county include Joe Hecht, district conservationist and Mel Alexander, conservation technician. Susan Buffington is the district manager.

The United States has nearly 3,000 conservation districts working at the local level on conservation issues. Kansas districts are organized along county boundary lines. Conservation districts provide an excellent opportunity for assisting local governments and landowners with all facets of land management through helping landowners develop land management plans and setting local policy. If you are interested in serving as a board supervisor, contact the McPherson Conservation District Office.