Conserving and Protecting the Soil and Water Resources of Texas
Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts
The Association of
Directors of Middle Clear Fork SWCD #206
Pictured from left to right: Becky Pyburn, Leo Holloway, Paul Holloway, Glen Sansom, Bob Grimes
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Middle Clear Fork Soil and Water Conservation District #206
Congratulations to Middle Clear Fork SWCD #206 -- Area II 2018 District of the Year
The Middle Clear Fork Soil and Water Conservation District # 206 serves Taylor County in West Central Texas.
The District oversees 20 Flood Prevention Sites along with the support of Taylor County. Each fall, a special inspection tour is held with the Taylor County Commissioner Court. This tour designates needed improvements and actions to maintain the viability of these structures. Constructed in the 1960’s and 70’s, the special designed earthen dams primary purpose is to hold flood waters in heavy rains and slowly release into main streams.
Recognition of teachers that teach conservation is a major emphasis. Along with the presentation award given at the annual awards banquet. A cash award of $200 is provided to the top conservation teacher with the purpose to buy additional classroom material to teach conservation and natural resources. Each Spring, one of the most popular events is the annual poster contest. Students from various schools with targeted grades Early Childhood to 4th grade.
Working with the West Texas Fair and Taylor Country Extension, the District is part of the Annual Food and Fiber Day held during the Fair in September. This educational program is targeted to Abilene ISD 4th students, showing the need and methods of soil and water conservation. In 2017, 550 4th grade students attended this annual event.
Other youth support is in the sponsorship of several youth to the Texas Range Camp in Junction each year as well as cadets to the Texas Brigades in past years. As part of the sponsorship, the student is required to come and make a formal presentation to the board.
Each March, the District holds the Awards Banquet. In addition to winners of the poster contest, awards are presented to the Outstanding Farmer, Rancher, Wildlife producer. The District will also recognize a supporter of Conservation.
Formal awards are special designed gate signs to the award winners.
The District has a great relationship with our elected officials. Elected officials are utilized to give testimonials during major events such has field days. Stan lambert, State Representative plus his staff, are regular attendees to the major public events. Director, Bob Grimes is assuming duties in a leadership in the regional events.
The Middle Clear Fork Soil and Water Conservation District has created a strong partnership in the community. They include Taylor County, for Office Space and supplemental funding. Taylor County Electric as a long-time sponsor of the annual Awards Banquet, Abilene Chamber of Commerce with its Ag Committee in hosting annual field days. The Texas Farm Ranch Wildlife Expo, provides an avenue to display the poster contest to over 15,000 people during its two events. And recently, the West Texas Autism Center provides awards for poster contest. And finally, the Taylor County Extension Office which supports and co-sponsors many activities together.
The most popular activity is the annual Fall Field Day. Using the example “Show me and I will Understand” the Field day begins with an industry sponsored breakfast, the District conducts educational demonstrations addressing various conservation practices to producers. Since Taylor County media serves a large region of West Central Texas, the field day always gets outstanding media coverage, thus spreading its word beyond the actual field day.
The Taylor County NRCS Office has created a prescribed burn group which meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month. While the primary purpose is education, this group is a core group of volunteers which assist with prescribed burns. To support the group, the Middle Clear Fork has purchased two-radios, plus highway signage which the group uses during each burn.
A major source of funding for the Middle Clear Fork Soil and Water District is from the sale of seed. Working with Turner Seed Company, the district is able to provide seed at reduced cost to the producers. While most orders are completing the requirements of NRCS contracts, several orders are producers wanting to improve range quality, plus the creation of game food plots. Windbreak Tree Sales have been a major item offered for sale over the years. Since this tree sale program began, over 200,000 trees have been sold and planted though the District.
Submitted by: Gary Bomar, District Clerk