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Special election set for JSWCD position

October 10, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

WINTERSVILLE - A special election to fill a position on the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District board of supervisors will be held in conjunction with the 69th-annual meeting and banquet.

The election, conducted by a representative of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission, will take place from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Oct. 29 at St. Florian Hall.

One supervisor will be elected from a slate of two candidates on the ballot: Mary Elizabeth "Beth" Dougherty or Jodee Straus Verhovec.

Residents or landowners, firms and corporations owning land or occupying land in Jefferson County and are 18 years old and older may vote for a supervisor. However, voters representing a corporation, firm, LLC, trust and absentee landowners must complete an affidavit form that confirms eligibility, it was noted.

Dougherty resides in Island Creek Township with her husband, Shawn, and children on a small farm, where they raise livestock. She and her husband, Shawn, have participated in the pasture walks coordinated by the Eastern Ohio Grazing Council. They said the opportunity to meet other landowners who implement rotational grazing practices has been a valuable tool for their own operations.

Verhovec is seeking her third term as a member of the board. She and her husband, Julius, raise Charolais cattle on her family farm in Smithfield, where she has been a lifelong resident. They have been involved in implementing conservation practices, including rotational grazing. She graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor of science degree in photo journalism and from the University of Dayton with a master's degree in education. She has been employed by the Buckeye Local School District for more than 30 years.

The banquet and meeting will begin with hors d'oeuvres at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner at 7 p.m. The buffet dinner will feature locally raised meats and produce. Following the dinner, awards will be presented to recognize the conservation farmer of the year and distinguished service recognition.

The photo contest winners and the winner of the biggest sycamore tree nomination will be announced as well.

A Dave Barnhouse print, featuring a parade of John Deere tractors, past and present, donated by Ken Perkins and Suzanne Kresser of Tri-State Financial Services, will be offered for bid. A live auction, conducted by Perkins, will be held and the proceeds will benefit the JSWCD education and outreach programs, such as the firth-grade all-school Fernwood State Forest Outdoor Days program, the "Off the Beaten Path" bus journey through the county and the high school outdoor academic Envirothon program.

For information on casting a ballot for the election or to make a reservation for the banquet, contact the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District office at (740) 264-9790 or visit the office at 131 Main St., lower level, Wintersville.

Irene Moore is district administrator and can be contacted at

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