A Pierce City couple won the Take Pride in America Award during the Barry County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual Landowners Appreciation Banquet on March 10.
Kent and Erin Boursheski, of Pierce City. own a 120-acre farm west of Monett, which has been in their family for four generations. The couple has implemented a rotational grazing system and utilized stockpiled forage by strip-grazing during the winter.
The Boursheskis also own four broiler houses and have built a composter and stacking shed. They received the Grower of the Year Award last year.
Exeter teachers Jimmy Hinson and Brett Freeman, who founded the R-VI School District's recycling program, received the Educators of the Year Award at the banquet.
"The recycling program established by Jimmy Hinson and Brett Freeman is helping to teach the students in the Exeter School District the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment," said Sonya Barrett, Barry County Soil and Water Conservation District program specialist. "They utilize the students in certain classes to help with the operation. The general public and several businesses in the community also use the recycling center."
Hinson and Freeman started the recycling program in 2005. The program originated when Fasco Industries' environmental task force proposed an idea that would allow Exeter students to collect plastic bottles and aluminum cans from the industry and utilize the funds received from recycling the materials for student activities.
Hinson, who is the district's agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor, and Freeman, high school science teacher and Student Council sponsor, partnered to write a grant for the proposed recycling program.
In 2006, the school district received a $24,380.63 grant from the Southwest Missouri Solid Waste District to finance the construction of a recycling facility. A bailer was donated to the program by Marck Industries, of Cassville.
Exeter High School students accept cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans from the community on the first Saturday of each month. Materials are accepted at the recycling facility that is located on the northeast corner of the R-VI School District campus.
Mike Henbest, of Cassville, received the 2008 Cooperator of the Year Award.
Last year, Henbest used the conservation district's permanent vegetative cover establishment program to plant 80 acres of Bermuda grass on his land. This year, he will use the same program to establish 200 additional acres of Bermuda grass on his property.
Henbest farms 400 acres of land with his mother and leases 200 acres of land from George's Poultry in Butterfield.