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Apr 11, 2022

Welcome back to Soil Solutions with Jessica Gnad.  This is the first of three episodes highlighting the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture's Division of Conservation.

Rod Vorhees and Daryl Donohue are KDA Divison of Conservation representatives for the Eastern and Southeastern regions of the state of Kansas. In this episode, they share their thoughts on the importance soil conservation and conservation partnerships, and the unique needs and challenges for soil health and conservation in their part of the state. 

For nearly three decades, awareness of soil health and of implementing conservation practices to encourage healthier soil have been promoted at both the local and the state level by Rod Vorhees.  Vorhees is the chairman of the Wilson County Conservation District, and he serves as the chairman of the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s State Conservation Commission (SCC). He has provided leadership, and first-hand knowledge of working on the land, during sessions with soil carbon organization representatives and through contact with soil health organizations at forage plots and land health monitoring locations.  Rod Vorhees’ family’s ranching operation, Lazy VJ Farms, located near Coyville, was recognized with the 2017 Kansas Leopold Conservation Award.  

A native of Fredonia, Kansas, Daryl Donohue serves as treasurer of the Wilson County Conservation District Board of Supervisors.  He serves as Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) Area V Director.  Donohue is a rancher in northern Wilson County, Kansas, and he has been utilizing growing season burns, or “summer” burns, as a management practice for about many years.  He actively promotes the use of prescribed burning to prevent cedar tree encroachment and to assist landowners and producers in recovering land invaded by cedar trees and, while doing so, encouraging native grasses and forbs to repopulate and thrive.