2022 Land Use Top 10 Individuals (2)_edited.jpg
Left to Right : Eldon Brown, Amanda Niemann, Cole Reimann, Taryn Millburg, Preston Buzick,
Kylie Neisler, JoBeth Matli, Atticus Bertolino, Georgia Glover, and Haelee Damm.

September 29th, the Soil and Water Conservation District sponsored a land use contest for the County FFA chapters at the farm of Bob Wilson in North Litchfield Township. During the contest, the students judged the soil by its physical characteristics in five different “pits” across a 20-acre field. The soil was also judged by the slope of the land at each individual site. From there students made educated decisions on how well the soil drains, what type of soil they are judging, and even how the land can be farmed due to soil type and percent slope. This year all four of the county FFA chapters participated with Lincolnwood placing first overall as a team. Litchfield placed second, with Hillsboro and Nokomis placing third and fourth, respectively. In individual awards, Eldon Brown of Lincolnwood placed first, and Amanda Niemann of Litchfield placed second. Cole Reimann and Taryn Millburg of Lincolnwood placed third and fourth, respectively. Placing fifth was Preston Buzick of Litchfield, in sixth was Kylie Neisler of Lincolnwood. In seventh was JoBeth Matli of Lincolnwood, eighth place went to Atticus Bertolino of Hillsboro. In ninth place was Georgia Glover of Litchfield, and in tenth place was Haelee Damm of Lincolnwood. We appreciate all the county FFA chapters for participation and hope to make this an annual contest yet again like in years past.

Meet our New Resource Conservationist

On Thursday, October 20th we held our Fall Fish Sale at the Hillsboro Township Shed Parking Lot in Taylor Springs. Our partner for this pond stocking event was Andry’s Fish Farm of Birdseye, Indiana. Overall, the Montgomery County SWCD had thirty-six orders of fish this year with multiple species, from channel catfish and largemouth bass, to bluegill, minnows and grass carp being sold. On behalf of Andry’s and the soil and water board of directors, we would like to thank everyone for buying fish, and supporting the work we do. If you happened to miss the fall sale, we are planning to hold another sale in the spring towards the end of March. We plan to have the same species available, along with crappie, which are only available from Andry’s each spring.

Gabe Osborn of Coffeen was hired as the Counties new Resource Conservationist, his first day was April 1, 2022. Osborn was born and raised in the county, with his family farming for six generations in Butler Grove Township. 

Osborn attended High School in Hillsboro and was very involved in FFA, holding offices of chapter secretary and president, as well as section 19 treasurer and reporter. Osborn also earned his State and American FFA Degrees. Following graduation in 2014, Osborn attended Lake Land College in Mattoon, earning his associates in Ag. Business in 2016. During college, Gabe was employed as an intern by South Central FS in Greenville for a year, and by CPS Morrisonville for a year. Osborn also was a seasonal employee for M&M Service Company with their seed distribution facility in Litchfield, and most recently he was the Farm Broadcaster for WSMI since 2018 until his employment with the SWCD. 

In Osborn's roll with the district, he will be responsible for promoting the practice of wise use of natural resources within the county. Some of those activities include the promotion of Arbor Day and Earth Day, IDNR programs for county youth, the county FFA Soil Judging contest held each October, as well as assisting the Hillsboro NRCS Office through survey work, planning, designing and reporting conservation practices. 

In Osborn's free time, he is the current president of the Hillsboro FFA Alumni, a member of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee, a volunteer fireman with the Coffeen Fire Prot. Dist., and a league bowler.

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The mission of the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District is to ensure a leadership role in natural resource conservation, provide technical service and information to the people of Montgomery County that will control and prevent soil erosion, prevent air and water pollution, conserve wildlife, grassland and forest land, and ensure land use conversion is properly managed and to correctly identify areas that should remain as wetlands.



Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) were founded in the midst of the Dust Bowl Era to meet an educational and technical need for conservation.  These districts were to hire conservation professionals who could educate and assist local land users whose farming practices were contributing to the wind and water erosion happening on rural and urban soils.  In Montgomery County the district was formed in the county seat of Hillsboro in 1941.  The Montgomery County SWCD is still very active in the county more than eighty years later.

   The SWCD  is a unit of local government which is held to state statute and is governed by a board of five elected officials who either reside in or own property within its boundaries.  The board meets monthly to conduct its business.  The office is staffed with one full time employee and office space is provided by its federal partner, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.



Montgomery Co. SWCD

1621 Vandalia Rd

Hillsboro, IL  62049
217-532-3361, ext. 3

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