Churchville horse farm honored for conservation

Robert and Kristen Trombero, the owners of Churchville Stables, LLC in Churchville, were presented with the 2012 Conservation Farmer of the Year award during the Harford Soil Conservation District's annual banquet Thursday night at the Level Fire Hall.

The award is presented each year to the Harford County farmer who conducts the best environmental practices on their farm in concert with the Harford County Soil Conservation District.

"It gives us a good feeling to know that we're helping the environment," Robert Trombero said. "Everything from our farm helps the environment as far as the Chesapeake Bay."

Two stream heads on the horse farm's 29-acre property off of Calvary Road feed into the Chesapeake Bay, and the Tromberos worked with the Harford County Soil Conservation District to ensure that any runoff into the streams was as clean as possible, according to a presentation on their farm by Bill Tharpe, the Harford Soil Conservation District's manager.

The presentation also outlined the farm's numerous conservation efforts, including managing runoff, building concrete and gravel paths to protect the ground from soil loss, and creating grass buffer areas to collect nutrients, giving extra protection to the streams on their property. Fencing on their farm also acts as a buffer to protect streams and other wetlands.

The Tromberos were also presented with citations from Harford County Executive David Craig and County Councilman Chad Shrodes, among others.

"Farms aren't bad," Shrodes said as he presented the Tromberos with their county council citation. "I don't know that it goes across the state too well, but congratulations on what you've done."

"I hope other farms do similar practices," Shrodes added.

Another presentation also highlighted many of the conservation practices in 2012 by farms throughout Harford County as well as the soil conservation district's partnerships with Etonic, Inc, their design consultants, and Trout Unlimited, which assists farms seeking grants to help keep watersheds clean.

Awards were presented to the Harford Christian School's 2012 Envirothon Team, which took part in an academic competition focusing on environmental challenges such as forestry, soils, aquatic ecology and wildlife. The team won county and state Envirothon competitions and finished seventh in the national Envirothon competition last year.

Farmers, conservation officials and their friends and family enjoyed the buffet meal catered by the Level Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary.

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