February 22, 2018 - 12:00 AM

A crowd of more than 100 braved the wintry weather Wednesday night to attend the Allen County Conservation District’s Annual Meeting.
The event allowed District officials to update the community on expenditures and projects over the past year, as well as recognize area students for various conservation-related projects.
Among the highlights:
— Bob Culbertson, wetland coordinator and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) director, said landowners in the Upper Neosho District constructed more than 12,000 feet of terraces on six projects, constructed four waterways and fenced two ponds while installing water tanks or access lanes. Three terrace projects, three waterways and one fenced pond were reported in Allen County.
— The projects cost $47,370, of which $19,200 came from landowner investment; the rest from WRAPS cost share funding. Another $22,600 is committed for 11 ongoing projects.
— Marmaton Valley High School FFA member Sarah Spillman read her award-winning essay on the plight of the honeybee. She cited pesticide usage, habitat loss and climate change as three factors, noting researchers still are uncertain how much any single factor plays a role.
— Safety poster contest winners from Iola, Humboldt and Marmaton Valley school districts were recognized.
— The Iola High School FFA chapter was awarded the Allen County Tighty Whities Challenge, in which men’s underwear was buried in various types of soil for a few weeks, then dug up to determine how much biological activity would affect the cotton material. Marmaton Valley took second.

PHOTOS:Iola High School FFA members Levi Meiwes, from left, Zach Slaven and Jack Eyster show the results of the school’s “Tighty Whities Challenge” in which cotton briefs are buried in different types of soil to test biological activity. The results were given at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Allen County Conservation District. See Page A3 for more information.  REGISTER/RICHARD LUKEN

At left, Anita Barnett received the Bankers Award for Soil Conservation Wednesday at the Allen County Conservation District Annual Meeting. Presenting her with the award were Southwind Extension Agent Carla Nemecek, left, and Terryl Mueller  of Community National Bank. Above, Marmaton Valley High School FFA member Sarah Spillman speaks about honeybees.

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