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Lincoln Co. Conservation District celebrates land stewardship

STANFORD — The Lincoln County Conservation District (LCCD) recognized community promotion of conservation practices at its annual awards banquet.

The LCCD honored young and old alike during Thursday’s banquet at Lincoln County Middle School, putting the spotlight on those who have worked to educate others about – and practice – land stewardship as well as those who create ways to celebrate conservation.

The night began by recognizing the winning students who participated in the annual art/writing contests. The topic for this year’s contests was “Water is Life! 100% Guaranteed.” There were four schools participating in the art portion – Hustonville Elementary, McKinney Elementary, Stanford Elementary and Waynesburg Elementary – and one school participating in the writing portion – Lincoln County Middle School.

In the end, after all judging is complete, there are first, second and third place winners chosen from each school and then an overall county art winner and overall county writing winner named from the first-place finalists.  

Kylie Nicole Jenkins, who finished third overall in the county last year in art, emerged as this year’ first-place county art winner. Jenkins, 11, the daughter of Brandon and Nicole Jenkins, is in the fifth grade at Stanford Elementary. In her spare time, Jenkins enjoys dancing, playing soccer, volleyball and golf, going to church and spending time with family and friends. 

Jenkins did not just finish as the county art winner. She was also chosen as the state art winner. She was chosen out of 48,000 entries from across the state to win the Jim Claypool Conservation State Art Award. Jenkins was presented a cash award and an award certificate by Supervisor Dale Osterman at Thursday’s banquet. She was also honored earlier in Frankfort.

William Bruce Christy IV was this year’s second-place county art winner. Christy, 10, the son of Marilyn Rector and Bill Christy, is in the fourth grade at Waynesburg Elementary. He enjoys playing video games such as Mario and Minecraft, swimming, making bead art, drawing and playing with his cats, Bro and Sassy. 

The third-place county art winner was Addison Hazlett, a fourth-grader at Hustonville Elementary. Hazlett, 10, is the daughter of Zack and Autumn Hazlett. She likes playing soccer, gymnastics, jumping rope, drawing, playing outside and being with family.

Justin Poynter of PBK Bank and Lincoln County Conservation District Supervisor Paul Jeffries made the presentation of the county art awards. 

The top award winner in the Conservation District’s county writing contest was Leighanna Lancaster while Abbie Nicole Cook and Taylor Jade Warren, also students at LCMS, were named the runner-up and third-place county winner, respectively.

Cook, 13, and an eighth-grader at LCMS, was the only writing winner in attendance Thursday. Cook, the daughter of Scottie and Christie Cook, enjoys volleyball, reading, her youth group and spending time with friends.

John Peek of Central Kentucky Ag Credit and Supervisor Dale Osterman made the presentation of awards to the county writing winners.

Teacher awards were presented to the teachers of the county art and writing winners. Virginia Grimes and Kristy Johnson, teachers at LCMS, were recognized for their work with Lancaster, the county writing winner, while Brent Cole, a teacher at Stanford Elementary, was honored as the teacher of Jenkins, the county art winner.

Grimes, who has been teaching for 14 years, was the only honored teacher in attendance. Grimes, who teaches eighth-grade at LCMS, said she feels the writing contest gives the students practice with their writing skills while creating a writing piece for a real audience. She is hopeful that the students learn to become good stewards of the land as they research their resource topic.

Steve Kelley of the Lincoln County Farm Bureau Federation made the presentation of the teacher awards.

The overall school winners in the Conservation District Art Contest, listed by their schools, were:

Hustonville Elementary: Addison Hazlett, 1st, Jacob Martin, 2nd, and Lola Knight, 3rd.

McKinney Elementary: Bethani Luster, 1st, Rhiannon Herring, 2nd, and Sarah Tate, 3rd.

Stanford Elementary: Kylie Jenkins, 1st, Madilynn Shepperson, 2nd, and Annie Correll, 3rd.

Waynesburg Elementary: Will Christy, 1st, Alyssa Garrett, 2nd, and AnnaGrace Kirkpatrick, 3rd.

The school writing winners were:

Lincoln County Middle School: Leighanna Lancaster, 1st, Abbie Cook, 2nd, and Taylor Jade Warren, 3rd.

School art and writing awards were presented by Bud Burdette of Central Kentucky Ag Credit and District Supervisor Kenny Stamper.

The final award of the evening, the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, was given to Marvin Bo Renfro, former Lead District Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Dan Grigson, retired UK Extension Agent for Agriculture.

The award, presented by Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Technician John Benson, honors individuals with a strong vision, dedication and commitment to the preservation of our natural resources.

Benson said that both Renfro and Grigson shared an “ultimate desire to work hand in hand with individual land users to educate, encourage and strengthen community awareness of natural resource issues.”

“Working with people in agriculture and/or agribusiness, is not unlike farming itself. You prepare your fields for planting, sow your seeds, provide additional nourishment to better your results, and harvest what you have sown,” Benson said. “So is the case with our recipients this evening. They carried out those same exact steps in their careers in Lincoln County. Always looking for new and better ways to improve the face of agriculture wherever they worked.” 

“You have to have a deep commitment for your work and the recipients have demonstrated this throughout their careers. This commitment was shown through involvement in local community activities, whether it be Field Days, training or local education of future farmers. They always dedicated themselves to the idea of they were here to benefit the agricultural community, not that the agricultural community was here for their benefit.”

Benson said that the local community should take pride in the fact that the concept of winter feed areas for livestock was solely developed and tested in Lincoln County. The system, which Renfro and Grigson helped design, develop and promote, has been adopted not only statewide, but also in surrounding states.