• Blog

    Goodbye 2020

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- As we say goodbye, or good riddance to 2020, I cannot help but feel a little blessed for 2020. This past year has brought me a lot of pain, but it has also brought me a lot of joy and to top it off it brought me this new position. I have awaited a career where I felt like I was at home or a place where I knew I was appreciated and encouraged to have ideas and then figure out how to implement them. It has always been a passion of mine to work in agriculture and so I pursued a degree in it. It…

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    The Magic of the Christmas Tree

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- It’s that time of year again— you gather up your kiddos, bundle up and hike through the woods on the search for the perfect Christmas tree. Every time I think about doing this, the scene from the movie Christmas Vacation plays over and over again in my head, but have you ever thought about the process your tree went through before making it to your living room? Christmas time was always a magical time for me and now that I have a family of my own, I realize the magic was because of the effort my family put into it. I still remember waking up and…

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    Giving Thanks

    Ashlee Kopchak- ZANESVILLE, Ohio November is a month for giving thanks. We give thanks for our families, our health, our jobs, our homes, our friends and even our pets but there are so many other things we should be thankful for, such as our natural resources. We assume those resources will always be there and be safe. In some countries they are a luxury. One of the biggest things we take for granted is our water. We turn on the sink or the shower and expect water to come pouring out, clean water at that. Did you know 663 million people on our planet do not have access to safe,…

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    Those That Go Bump in the Night

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Not all winged creatures are as bad as they are made out to be, bats being one of them. Thanks to pop culture we assume bats are rodents, drink your blood, are blind, fly into your hair, and worst of all will give you rabies. These are simple misconceptions. I will start from the beginning; bats are not rodents. They are not even closely related to rodents. In fact, we, as primates, are more closely related to rodents than bats. Their closest relatives are those of the family that stems to cats, dogs, pigs and horses. Bats are an ancient animal and are believed to have…

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    Sustainable Palm Oil

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- What is Palm Oil? Palm Oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. There are two kinds of oil that can be produced: crude palm oil comes from squeezing the fruit and palm oil kernel oil, which comes from crushing the kernel in the middle of the fruit. Oil palm trees are native to Africa but were introduced to South-East Asia as an ornamental tree crop. Palm Oil is in nearly everything. It is in almost all packaged goods, from chocolate to deodorant to makeup. It is also used in animal feed and as a biofuel in many parts…

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    Bee a Honey and Save Bees

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Bees have been a topic for conservationists throughout the country but do people know why? Sure, we know they make honey, but many do not know their importance of pollinating. Over recent years the decline in bee populations has been alarming. To counteract the decrease the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) have devoted millions of dollars annually to encourage and help farmers and landowners to plant and maintain pollinator habitats on private lands. Over 90% of all flowering plant species rely on insect pollination. Specifically, 35% of all global food production is from crops pollinated by bees alone. Those numbers may…

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    Saving the Monarchs

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- As many know, our Monarch populations are dwindling away. This is due to a number of reasons, but the majority of questions asked are focused around how we can help. There are small steps you can do in your own backyard to help. Many times people hear the word “conservation” and immediately jump to save the elephants or the sea turtles. Yes, those are important as well; but many do not know there are so many conservation practices you can do in your own backyard or community. Conservation is not just the preservation of animals, it’s also the preservation of plants and natural resources as well.…

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    Fireflies

    I live pretty far from most civilization. Fairly common around here, it’s where the gravel road meets the dirt road and then you drive a little further. The kind of place where you go to sleep with the sounds of bullfrogs and crickets and the sound of cars is disruptive. A month or two ago, I had a delivery to my house and when the city boys delivering my order got out of their truck, it was dark and quiet and I chuckled to myself as I heard one of them say “Man, I ain’t ever been anywhere this dark before.” When I moved to my home, one of the…

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    Bringing Back the Rain Barrel

    Lisa Crock ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Although 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh water. Of that number only a fraction is accessible to use as drinking water. The remainder is encapsulated in ice caps and glaciers. With so very little fresh water on Earth and the demand increasing all the time, it makes sense to conserve as much as possible. There are numerous ways to conserve water, including using a rain barrel. As far back as 2000 years ago, rainwater was collected in clay containers; they progressed to the rain barrel, which remained a common sight until the 1940’s. With…