A Thousand-and-One Ways To Learn About Conservation

John Lorson, District Technician


A few weeks back I wrote about our biggest outreach event of the year, the Annual Tom Graham 5th Grade Farm Tour. We get an awful lot of educational bang for our buck from that one by trotting 400 kids out on the farm, but throughout the year we at the Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District take every opportunity to share knowledge about the conservation of our natural resources. Education is our strong suite, an it’s a part of everything we do here.

In addition to huge productions like the Farm Tour we also spend time in classrooms all across the county sharing hands-on educational programming with students of all ages. Our staff, experienced in the classroom as well as the field, provides both standards-based lessons and “outside-the-box” programs for public, parochial and home-schooling groups. Topics range from the Water Cycle, to Soil Health to Wildlife and everything in between. If you are an educator or, in the parochial setting, a parent looking to provide special programming for your school please give us a call. We’ll be happy to recommend programs for specific age or ability groups. We’re happy to have the opportunity to help carry home the fundamentals of conservation no matter what the setting.


Beyond the traditional classroom we also offer special programs and information sessions throughout the year. For the past several years we’ve collaborated with neighboring Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local agribusiness interests, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, The Ohio State University and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to deliver information on soil health, fertilizer application, cover crops, no-till farming practices and a host of other conservation practices. Those events, are typically planned around agricultural schedules in an effort to give producers an opportunity to learn, ask questions and share their own insights. That last item “sharing their insights” is crucial to our own knowledge. No one knows more about the conditions, challenges and rewards of farming in a certain locality better than the folks who are actually doing it. Giving producers an opportunity to share their experiences provides a great learning opportunity not only for their fellow farmers, but for us as a Soil and Water staff.


Technology offers another set of opportunities for teaching and learning and it keeps us available 24-hours a day through our social media presence on Facebook at “Holmes Soil & Water Conservation District” and through our website www.HolmesSWCD.com At both locations you’ll find news and information and links to additional resources as well as an archive of our staff blogs on everything from lawn mowing to harvesting corn silage.

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Of course, even with all the different avenues available for teaching and learning, nothing beats a good old one-on-one conversation with a member of our staff. Give us a call with your questions and we’ll always do our best to either answer them outright or put you in touch with someone who can. Better still, stop in and see us sometime. We love to teach and learn.

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John Lorson, District Technician

John Lorson came to Holmes SWCD after leaving a career in higher education quite literally for greener pastures. He holds a BS in Biology from The University of Akron where he later worked for ten years—most recently as coordinator of the The University of Akron Millersburg Campus. Prior to that he spent 15 years as an engineering technician with the City of Orrville, dealing with storm water, infrastructure and planning issues. John can assist with conservation planning for your farm, rural property or woodlot. He also deals with storm water management issues, and investigates pollution complaints. Reach John with your conservation concerns at 330-674-2811 or email jlorson@co.holmes.oh.us