COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Soil and Water Conservation District is preparing for its annual meeting Feb. 20.

The meeting will be 6:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 204 N. Main St., Columbia City, in the fellowship hall.

The evening will begin with a catered meal followed by an election for the open seat on the Board of Supervisors, report of the District’s activities and accomplishments and financial report for 2017. The SWCD will also be recognizing Shady Grove Farms, its River Friendly Farmer for 2017.

This year’s speaker is Mike Werling from Decatur. Werling is a 20-year veteran no-tiller who farms 350 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. He has used management practices, including cover crops, over the past 20 years to boost his soil organic matter levels by an average of 1.3 percent across his farm.

Werling was recently recognized at the 2017 No-Till Conference for his nutrient management practice. Werling has conducted on-farm trails that show yields of 185 bushel corn with 100 pounds of nitrogen and 166 bushel corn with 50 pounds of nitrogen.

The cost of the meal is $5 per person. Reservations should be made by Tuesday, Feb. 13, by visiting or calling the SWCD office at 244-6266, ext. 101, or email Tickets can also be purchased from members of the Board of Supervisors: Gary Hoffman, Mike Hinen, Cory Studebaker, Chris Frazier and Brent Emerick or associate supervisors Scott Anderson, Phil Walker, Brian Johnson and Gary Lamle.