Logan SWCD Celebrates 75 Years Service

power_point_picLogan Soil and Water Conservation District Celebrates 75Years

Logan Soil and Water Conservation District is celebrating 75 years of service.  On July 8, 1943, Morgan Connor, J.R. Renick, David Coover, Jack Richardson and Bill Bosart conducted the first Logan Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors meeting.  The Board began working with local farmers addressing drainage and erosion issues.  Willing farmers signed a cooperative agreement with Logan SWCD welcoming soil and water representatives onto their property to help them devise solutions to drainage, soil erosion and various farming challenges they were confronting.  

Most of Ohio’s counties were organizing conservation districts in the early 1940’s.  Ohio passed legislation in 1941 to authorize the formation of locally led conservation districts.  As locally led citizens groups organized to establish soil and water conservation districts, SCS would have the authority to provide technical assistance through that District to the landowners, with the District Supervisors overseeing the state and federal programs on behalf of those local land users.  Highland County formed Ohio’s first soil and water conservation district in 1942.  

Ohio’s legislation was a component of federal legislative action taken in 1935, in response to The Dust Bowl, aka the DirtyThirties.  Severe dust storms that damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930 became a public concern.  The Great Plains had endured 3 waves of drought spanning an eight year period in the 30’s.  Farmers had been converting deep rooted grassland to cultivated cropland in the 1920’s   The deep-rooted grasses that typically trapped soil and moisture during periods of drought and high winds were displaced, leaving the topsoil vulnerable to the ravages of wind and drought.  The dry soil turned to dust and the prevailing winds whipped the dust into huge clouds that blackened the sky.  The blowing dust reached the east coast.  In the winter of 1934-35, red snow fell on New England.  Human suffering, heartache,displacement and personal economic loss resulted from the drought and top soil loss.  Families packed up their meager belongings and abandon their farming in search of work.  

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency was in its first 100 days in 1933.  This administration prevailed upon the Congress to pass the Soil Conservation Act recognizing the harmful effects of erosion creating the Soil Erosion Service under Hugh Hammond Bennett.  In 1935 the Soil Erosion Service was reorganized under the Department of Agriculture and renamed the Soil Conservation Service, now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Various government programs were implemented to coordinate relief efforts, to educate farmers on soil conservation and anti-erosion techniques and to offer employment establishing tree/shrub plantings to break the wind, hold water in the soil and hold the soil itself in place.  Conservation districts partner with NRCS, farmers, and landowners identifying problems and determining and implementing solutions for sound conservation and soil stewardship.

It is Logan SWCD's hope and promise to continue serving the needs of Logan County's agriculture community, landowners, and property owners.  We are committed to recognizing local farming issues and concerns and finding reasonable solutions.  Serving Logan County is our honor and privilege.