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Leadership Ottawa County Class explores natural resources, local government

Connie Moore of Moore Beef and Hay Farm waves as a crop-duster flies over the Leadership of Ottawa County hayride in September.

Leadership Ottawa County (LOC) will meet with government officials at the Ottawa County Courthouse in Port Clinton Oct. 9 to learn more about the county’s government structure and demographics.

LOC is a nine-month leadership development program that brings young professionals together the second Wednesday of each month to learn about and explore the diversity of Ottawa County and increase personal leadership skills through experiential training.

The 2013-2014 LOC class kicked off on Sept. 11 by learning about agriculture, environment and the natural resources. At the Ottawa National Wildlife Center Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge manager Doug Brewer talked about the refuge, the variety of birds and animals that reside in or migrate there, the relationship of wetland conservation and water quality and birding’s impact on the local economy.

Also at the refuge, the group heard from Jamie Coleman, a community outreach specialist with the Ottawa Sandusky Seneca (OSS) Solid Waste Management District, about the agency’s mission to foster the reduction of solid waste by increasing the recycling of such materials as glass, metals and plastics.

LOC traveled to Moore Orchards to learn about apple growing, packing and distribution from owner Jim Moore, and then enjoyed a hayride along the dikes of the Moore Beef and Hay Farm, owned by John and Connie Moore. A highlight of the ride was watching a “crop-dusting” plane in action up close and personal.

After a dinner featuring Ottawa County products at the Agricultural Complex in Oak Harbor, Sea Grant extension educator Tory Gabriel explained the importance of Lake Erie’s tourist and fishing industries to the local economy, as well as threats such as invasive species and algal bloom to the lake’s well-being. Becky Simpson, education specialist with the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District – as well as a member of LOC - concluded the evening with information about its educational activities and services for property owners. 

Members of the 2013-14 LOC class and their sponsors include: 

Diane Ball, OSS Solid Waste District; Kathy Berger, Terra State Community College; Laurie Cleaver, Ottawa County Transportation Agency; Kathy Dale, Danbury Township; Steve Hall, First Energy; Steve Lange, Ottawa County Sanitary; Dawn Segaard, Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Vern Shepherd, Lakeside United Methodist Church; Amy Simkus, Stein Hospice; Becky Simpson, Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District; Kristen Trammel, Otterbein North Shore; Andrew Wells, Kroger.

Leadership Ottawa County is a nine month leadership development program that brings young professionals together to learn about and explore the diversity of Ottawa County and increase personal leadership skills through experiential training.  For more information on Leadership Ottawa County, visit their website at www.leadershipottawacounty.com

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