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Ohio land improvement event focuses on soil, water
Some of the professionals most dedicated to soil and water conservation, as well as the environment, are members of the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Assoc. (OLICA). The theme for their upcoming conference, “The Changing Face of Land Improvement” is appropriate for their Jan. 7-9, 2013 annual meeting in Dublin, Ohio.  

Planned for the Embassy Suites Hotel, the convention opens at 1 p.m. on the 7th with a presentation titled, “GPS Technology for Construction Grade Control, Land Leveling and Agricultural Drainage”, featuring speakers from Trimble and Schlatter’s, Inc. 
Long-term drainage researchers Norm Fausey and Kevin King from USDA’s Agricultural Ressearch Service and Ohio State University’s Larry Brown close the afternoon session with “Drainage Water Management and Tile Drainage Impacts to Water Quality.”
The Trade Show and Vendors Night and dinner buffet begins at 6 p.m., with over 30 vendors on hand to personally answer questions. Construction and earthmoving equipment dealers will be joined by erosion control product representatives as well as leasing and financing companies.  

Tuesday’s agenda is full, beginning with a cook-to-order breakfast available from 6:30 to 9 a.m. Following some association and benefits presentations, Hugh Crowell, Hull and Associates and Mark DeBrock, USDA-NRCS plan to review the latest US EPA/Army Corps and Ohio EPA wetland regulations and USDA swampbuster regulations. The trade show lasts throughout the day, ending at 4 p.m.

The Tuesday evening banquet features Jym Ganahl, chief meteorologist for Columbus’ WCMH NBC4.

Wednesday’s agenda starts off with the same breakfast option, followed by an Ohio UPS update and damage prevention legislation. The program wraps up with a review of the up-ground water reservoir construction project for the city of Columbus presented by civil geo- technical engineer Winston Stewart.
According to Mark Wilson, executive director of OLICA, “For decades, the goal of improving the land was rather simple; just make it more productive and minimize soil erosion. However, today the goal has gotten much more complex. In addition to making the land more productive, contractors are now expected to control tile drainage, preserve and enhance wetlands, comply with nutrient runoff regulations and improve the sustainability of the soil, water, animal, plant and air resources.”

A complete conference agenda and registration materials can be found at Reservations can also be made by calling the OLICA office at 740-751-4703.

A Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Exam training session has been scheduled for Jan.16 & 17 for agronomy professionals planning to take an exam in February or August of 2013. The training is designed to help participants understand the principles necessary to become a certified crop adviser and to assist in preparation for the state and international CCA exams. Instructors are all CCA’s themselves and include Dr. Robert Mullen, Potash Corp and Ohio State University Extension’s Field Agronomists Greg LaBarge and Harold Watters, as well as Bruce Clevenger, Defiance County ag educator.  

The two-day session will be offered at the Shelby County Extension Office, 810 Fair Road, Sidney, Ohio 45365, beginning at 9 a.m. on the first day and ending by 5 p.m. on the second day. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The fee covers the cost of instruction, lunches, handouts and other incidentals. Preregistration is requested by Jan. 9 by contacting Watters at 937-604-2415 or