Every year, the Butler Conservation District hosts a meeting and award ceremony.

Every year, the Butler Conservation District hosts a meeting and award ceremony.

This year’s event was held on Thursday evening at the Benton Church.

During the course of the evening, those in attendance enjoyed a meal catered by Oklahoma Boys BBQ, participated in a business meeting, recognized Monty Jessup for his conservation efforts and heard about the Butler County Sheriff’s Land Tracker Program.

Poster and limerick contest winners were also mentioned. The 2012 Conservation Poster and Limerick Contest theme was “Soil to Spoon.” Eight schools participated, and 326 posters and 57 limericks were submitted.

Those attending also listened to Flinthills High School junior Courtney Jackson talk about her second trip to Range Camp. During Range Camp, she learned about range lands, water quality, brush management and plant identification.

“Thank you guys very much for letting me go again,” she said.

Jessup, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was the winner of the 2012 Kansas Banker’s Association Soil Conservation Award.

He owns 235 acres along Hickory Creek south of Leon which consists of 86 acres of native grass, 74 acres of cropland, 69 acres of woodland and six acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grass strips and CRP quail buffers.

Jessup was given the award for his conservation efforts, including planting trees, pasture burning, digging a well in his pasture and installing a solar pump on the well.

Following the announcement of Jessup’s award, Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet talked about what is going on around the county. He talked about mail thefts, burglaries and drug abuse.

He reminded his audience to lock their vehicles and homes, and to be vigilant.

Herzet then introduced Lt. Patrick Light, who has been instrumental in bringing the Land Tracker Program to Butler County.

After talking with an officer in Barton County, Light decided to find out whether or not Butler County landowners would be interested in putting PVC pipe with a number on their fence posts.

The numbers are assigned to landowners or renters and are used to provide contact information for law enforcement.

If cattle or horses are out, a responding deputy can identify land owners or leasers in the vicinity based on the number on the pipe. Light believes this will make it easier to put livestock back where they belong. The Butler County Sheriff’s Department received more than 800 calls about escaped livestock last year.

At present, there are 243 pieces of pipe on fences and 277 that have been ordered. The Sheriff’s Department provides the pipe, and Flinthills Services attaches the numbers.

Anyone interested in signing up for the program can visit http://www.bucoks.com/index.aspx?NID=384.