Conservation awards have been given out over the years to deserving organizations and individuals that work hard to conserve our natural resources. Awardees are recognized for their efforts in different categories such as conservation practices used on farmlands, educating the public, protecting natural habitats and wildlife, or devoting time to protecting lakes, rivers, and streams.
If you know of any organization or individual deserving of a conservation award, reach out to us so they can be recognized for their hard work and dedication.
Below are links to awardees over the years, including the current year. Check out the links for any organizations affiliated with the awardees.
2018 Conservationist of the Year
Presented to Kenneth Kesson / Michigan DNR SW Region MDNR website
In recognition of your superior dedication & passion to conservation leadership and creation of habitat through native plantings in Cass County, Michigan.
The following are examples of his efforts:
2018 Conservation Farmer of the Year
Presented to: Kevin Hershberger
In recognition of your superior performance and strong commitment to no-till and conservation-based farming in Cass County.
The following are examples of his efforts:
2018 Environmental Awareness Advocate
Presented to: Marcellus News and posthumously Ramona Moormann
In recognition of the ongoing commitment to inspire readers and stimulate their generation of a conscious commitment to a thriving, just and sustainable way of life on Earth.
The following are examples of their efforts:
2018 Volunteer of the Year
Presented to: Jeffrey Blyveis
In recognition of your tireless dedication and support of conservation education and District programs in Cass County.
Conservationist of the Year (posthumous): Gertrude “Gertie” Temple
A true steward of the land nominated for the award by Bruce Campbell, Drain Commissioner. Gertrude “Gertie” Temple touched the lives of everyone she met and will be remembered for her integrity, passion – and her smile.
She was especially passionate about preserving the pristine water of the lake she held so dear – Birch Lake – as well as the wetlands in Porter Township. She, and her husband Bob Temple, devoted countless hours over 39 years to protect and preserve the water quality of Birch Lake. She worked tirelessly to learn from the experts and apply that knowledge to spearhead many programs and efforts – and as she would always say, “with the help of many dedicated volunteers”. Gertie worked hand-in-hand with Cass County’s Director of Environmental Health to design and implement the Cass County Health Department Birch Lake Survey Program and the Birch Lake Monitoring Program. She was actively involved in Michigan Lakes and Streams Association and was instrumental in the implementation of the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program for Birch Lake, as well as the founding of the Birch Lake Improvement Association, the Water Quality Committee of the Birch Lake Yacht Club, and the Birch Lake Watershed Association. She also served for many years as the Secretary of the Porter Township Sewer Board, with a goal to prevent possible pollution from improper installation and maintenance. As chair of the Porter Township Wetlands Committee, she worked towards creating a comprehensive Ordinance to protect its unique wetlands. Gertie had a heart of gold and was a one of kind treasure who left an incredible legacy.
Conservation Farmer of the Year: Chris Rosselit
For as long as anyone can remember, Chris Rosselit has been an important member of the Cass County farming community and regarded very highly by his peers. Chris has earned a reputation of being one of the friendliest and kind people in our community. As a farmer, Chris has demonstrated a strong commitment to be an environmental steward through his conservation based farming. Farming 800 total acres of corn and soy, Chris has been a pioneer of conservation. His farm was one of the first in the County to practice no-till and he has conducted several cover crop trials. For 25 years he has continued no-till planting, has become a user of annual rye as a cover crop, and practiced sound nutrient management through responsibly calculated fertilizer applications. Chris’s farm is verified in the cropping system in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). Chris’ overall character and commitment to be an environmental steward make him more than qualified to receive the award of Cass County Farmer of the Year.
Wildlife/Habitat Stewardship: Gordon Seyfarth
In recognition of his deep understanding and appreciation of the web of life and his efforts to create habitats which protect a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife in a small space.
To read more about what Gordon Seyfarth is doing click here.
2017 Ag Tourism award recognition is given to A-Mazing Acres located on US 12 in Mason Township. Using their unique farm as a form of entertainment they have been educating their guests about “Farm to Market”. Guests can spend unlimited time exploring the corn maze, plus enjoy other attractions such as a miners mountain slide, jumping pillow, corn boxes, goat barn, pedal cart & trike track, and many more fun games/attractions.
Through their conservation farming practices, recently MAEAP (Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program) certified in farmstead, cropping and livestock, they strive to be good stewards of the land. They have implemented land conservation, no-till farming, minimally use chemicals on crops, practice rotation planting, and water conservation.
They invite the general public to the farm six days a week via school field trips, corporate team building events and general public attendees to experience animals, crops, farm to table food, and fun! Their outreach has extended to visitors from as far away as Belgium and Singapore, and in the States from Chicago to Texas! Rick and Roni Hoff of A-Mazing Acres make special efforts to ensure no matter where they are from they all experience Cass County Michigan in an entertaining and educational way!
Karen Nelson and her son Jason Nelson are recognized for their commitment to conservation education. Nelson’s Herbs is not just a local greenhouse and market but, a location for the raising the community awareness of sustainability and natural living. The following are examples of their educational works: