MOUNT VERNON — A brief update on programs within the Knox Soil and Water Conservation District was heard Friday afternoon at the Knox County Agricultural Services meeting room. City, county, district and state officials were invited to the annual pancake and sausage luncheon before hearing about district programs from Rob Clendening, District Program Administrator. Knox SWCD annually hosts the luncheon as a means to discuss their current program and get area officials on board with them and to retain their support.
Clendening shared some resource statistics for Knox County gathered in 2011. Among these findings, Knox County encompasses 339,904 total acres with 198,244 of that being land in farms. There are more than 96,000 acres in forest land with 1,375 acres in lakes.
“So much of our agribusiness and so many of our commodities are dependent upon the land resources we have here in Knox County,” said Clendening. Gross cash receipts for livestock and crops currently stand at $110 million. Corn accounts for nearly one-half of these receipts, coming in at $50,508,000. Soybeans also account for a large portion of the revenue at $34,450,000, while livestock receipts come in at $23,770,000.
“For us as a Soil and Water Conservation District, this is significant because we spend probably the majority of our time working with these people,” said Clendening. “It’s a tremendous asset to the county and just a huge segment of our local economy.”