Callaway County Soil and Water Conservation District preparing for board elections

The Dixie water tower is one of four towers that serve Water  District No. 1 in Callaway County. The district has requested voluntary water conservation due to the current drought.
The Dixie water tower is one of four towers that serve Water District No. 1 in Callaway County. The district has requested voluntary water conservation due to the current drought.

The Callaway County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is preparing to host elections for its board of supervisors.

The Callaway SWCD is an area where there a project to save oil and water has been established. The district also encourages people on wise and productive uses of natural resources.

Tarah Metheny, Callaway County SWCD district manager, said the district also has various cost-share programs to assist farms.

During the 2023 fiscal year, the district provided $277,426.16 in cost-share funds to 26 landowners across the county. These funds were to assist in the installation of agricultural erosion control and water quality practices.

The board of supervisors is made up of four elected members and one appointed member who is an employee of the University of Missouri Extension. The appointed member is the secretary for the group.

The elected members have the roles of chair, vice-chair, treasurer and member.

One responsibility of the SWCD board of supervisors is to assist the Soil and Water Districts Commission in the administration of a state soil and water conservation cost-share program, according to SWCD documents.

The board is also the employer of SWCD employees and must provide direction and guidance to staff members.

Regular meetings are held by the board to review district business. Meetings are usually held each month.

The upcoming Callaway SWCD election will be open Feb. 1-Feb. 20. The election is for one supervisor in two different territories -- territory one and territory three.

Callaway County is comprised of four areas. Area one includes Liberty, McCredie, Cleveland and Bourbon. Area two includes Shamrock, Jackson, Nine Mile Prairie and Calwood. Area three includes Auxvasse, East and West Fulton, and Saint Aubert. Area four includes Round Prairie, Guthrie, Caldwell, Cedar, Holts summit and Cote Sans Dessein.

Metheny said the board of supervisors has one representative from each district.

To be considered as a candidate in the election, you must meet the following qualifcations: be a land representative from the district, reside or own a farm in the area nominated in, be a cooperator of the district, be a current resident and tax-paying citizen of the country for at least two years and be 18 or older.

The self-nomination form must be delivered to the district office by 5 p.m. on Nov. 30. The form is located online at mosoilandwater.land/internal/district-operations-manual or can be picked up in-person.

Callaway County's district office is located at 4549 State Road H.

Each supervisor is elected to a term of four years.

"Every two years a new election will come up," Metheny said.

At the December board meeting, the nominations will be finalized.

"There are certain stipulations on who can vote when it comes to the voting period," Metheny said.

In the election, each eligible voter can only vote once per "independent farm enterprise by a landowner or the landowner's legal representative." Each farm is entitled to representation in the SWCD elections.

If the farm owner is not able to personally take part in voting, power of attorney may be given to a taxpaying citizen of the county to represent the owner and vote.

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