Gerald Runyon (left), a supervisor of the Soil and Water District, presents awards to Leon Mercer and Martha Knox. Knox, who won the Conservation Teacher of the Year Award, said that she was nominated because of her conservation teaching in her fifth grade class at Van Buren Elementary. Among other activities, her class planted and helped maintain gardens at the school and went on camping trips. She said the award came as a surprise.
"I didn't know I was getting it until they came to take my picture," she said.
Leon Mercer, who won the Conservation Farmer of the Year award, said that his award came from his work in no-till farming.
"I'm very happy," he said. "I want to thank the board and anyone else who had anything to do with (the nomination). I'm glad I can promote no-till farming and if there's any way I can do that, I'm pleased."