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Bill and Ann McCort (left) own farmland along 311th Street east of Paola, and they enjoy the relationship they have with Mark Nelson and his son-in-law, Jake (right), who farm the property. McCort and her family members are recipients of the Bankers Award from the Miami County Conservation District.

Ann McCort and her family members realize the importance of properly maintaining farmland and keeping it in the family.

Ever since Ann’s grandparents Karl and Leonora “Pauline” Rossman first purchased 160 acres along 311th Street east of Paola from siblings, the family has passed down values of stewardship and loyalty from generation to generation.

That’s something that is appreciated by Mark Nelson and his son-in-law, Jake. Mark said he has been farming the land for the past 30 years, and he appreciates the positive relationship he has with the landowners.

“It’s a gift to be on ground that’s been around for a long time,” Mark said.

Mark and Jake use about half of the land to harvest corn, soybeans and wheat, while the rest is used for hay or a home for trees and native plants.

Mark remembers working with Ann’s parents, Richard Rossman and Betty (Crawford) Rossman, who took over ownership of the land from Ann’s grandparents.

Mark can still see Richard walking amongst the walnut trees and stomping the walnuts into the ground, while also trimming brush.

“Conservation has always been important to us,” Ann said, adding that her great-grandparents also practiced conservation.

The family has worked with the Miami County Conservation District many times over the years to install things such as terraces, waterways and native plants.

Ann said land maintenance and conservation was also important to members of the Crawford family on her mother’s side, who own land that dates back to Indians and the Homestead Act.

Ann said her family members hope to maintain their current property in Miami County, as well as their relationship with Mark, for many years into the future.

“Our kids know the importance of keeping it in the family,” she said.

The Miami County Conservation District has honored McCort and her family by naming them recipients of the Bankers Award. The award will be presented during the conservation district’s annual meeting Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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