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Who We Are

Board & Staff

About Soil & Water:  
The Soil & Water Conservation District has served Licking County since 1944, promoting conservation of natural resources through local leadership, education, and technical assistance.  

Soil & Water's Board of Supervisors:  
Landowners and residents of Licking County elect the governing body of Licking County Soil & Water Conservation District.  The governing body is referred to as the Board of Supervisors.  
The election of Supervisors is conducted by the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission pursuant to rules it adopts under Chapter 119 of the Revised Code.  The five publicly-elected members of the Board of Supervisors serve, unpaid, for three-year terms. 
The five Supervisors should represent our county's soil conservation and water conservation needs in rural, suburban and urban settings, on farmland and in our backyards and public lands.  They voluntarily work with community members and organizations to encourage wise use of our land and water.   

Get out and Vote!  

Individuals who own or occupy land within the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District and are 18 or older may vote for Supervisor. Cast a ballot:

At the Soil & Water office from October 2, 2023, until October 31, 2023, during regular business hours; or 
At the Soil & Water Annual Banquet, October 10th, 2023 at The Grove by the River, 5:30–6:30 pm.
Voting absentee From October 2, 2023, until October 25, 2023, by requesting the ballot application and election ballot by:  
Mail: 771 East Main Street, Suite 100, Newark, OH  43055, Calling 740‐670‐5330, or Absentee ballots must be received in the SWCD office by October 31, 2023.

Ballots counted and winner announced November 2, 2023.  
Winning Candidate starts their term on January 1, 2024.  


Meet the Candidates for the 2023 Board of Supervisors Election. 

Two candidates will be elected to start a 3-year term on January 1, 2024.  

Bill Goodman:

Current member of the Licking County Soil & Water Board. Also, current member of the State of Ohio Soil & Water Conservation Board. Served on the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission Board for ODA in the late 1980’s. Member of the Highwater UCC north of Granville. Member of the Licking County Professional Agrarian Club. Member of Licking County Farm Bureau. Member of Bennington Township Board of Zoning Appeals. 

1. Making sure that growth from development does not have negative effects on water and soil within the county. Whether you agree or not with companies like Intel, we all have to abide by the law. 

2. Log jams within the creeks and rivers of the county create many problems within the watershed. Finding ways to fund the removal of these logjams is a challenge for all involved. 

3. Continue with cost share programs to conserve soil. Cover crop assistance and assistance with fencing are two good examples of cost share such programs.


Kimberly Byce:

Permaculture Design Certificate holder, member of Denison Sustainability Committee, member of  OEFFA, member of AASHE, member of Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Granville Parent Co-op Preschool, League of Women Voters, and Columbus Arts Festival.

1. Protecting soil, water and other natural resources in the face of unprecedented development in Licking County. 

2. Guiding the development of large-scale solar projects

3. Continuing to draw connections among like-minded people and organizations to create a countywide culture of conservation.


Kevin Black: 

Licking County Planning Commission Board Member, small farm owner with previously owned cattle, chickens and hay.

1. Intel and urban sprawl is going to be the biggest challenge facing Licking county for many many years to come. As a landowner, a lifetime agriculture nut, and a long time Licking County resident, I will ensure we preserve our wetlands and protect our water and land.

2. With the large amount of growth facing Licking County, protecting our water sources, especially the storm water pollutants.

3. Education. I have a great relationship with all of the local and state elected officials and we need to make sure we keep  them educated and informed to get the assistance we need to preserve our natural resources.

2023 Board Members

  • Seth Dobbelaer - Chair
    Seth Dobbelaer - Chair

    Seth Dobbelaer farms in Newark, Ohio. Serving a second term, he has been a participant in the Licking County River Round Up and is passionate about organic farming. Mr. Dobbelaer has been on the Board of Directors of the United Church of Granville and the Weathervane Playhouse. He has participated as a volunteer for many community efforts. Seth s focused on addressing storm water drainage, fertilizer and pest control runoff, and unchecked mono cropping.

  • Bill Goodman - Secretary/Treasurer
    Bill Goodman - Secretary/Treasurer

    Bill Goodman is a beef & blackberry farmer in McKean Township. Retired from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Bill thinks SWCD has historically done a good job for Licking County taxpayers. Challenges he would like to work on include maintaining technical and financial assistance, addressing the need for conservation practices in highly developed areas, and promoting cost-share programs to assist farmers in pollution abatement activities.

  • Ron Thompson - Fiscal Officer
    Ron Thompson - Fiscal Officer

    Ron Thompson farms in Utica, Ohio. Mr. Thompson is a retired Agricultural Education teacher. He has been affiliated with many local community projects including as a 44-year member of the Hartford Fair Board. If elected, Ron would strive to upgrade educational programs for Licking County residents on the work of the Soil Conservation Service. He also would like to work to enhance the Muskingum and Buckeye Lake watershed programs continuing to monitor fertilizer and nutrient run-off.

  • Kim Byce - Vice Chair
    Kim Byce - Vice Chair

    Kim Byce lives in Granville Township and is the Homestead Coordinator at Denison University. As a mom of three, she knows she is borrowing the earth from her children and theirs. Licking Soil & Water empowers her and other sustainability-minded residents of the county with knowledge and resources to ensure a viable, abundant future for all.

  • Rodney Tornes - Member

    Rodney Tornes - MemberRodney Tornes spent 31 years with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Water Resources in dam safety, water planning, floodplain management and ground water resources, retiring as the Chief of the Division in 2020.

    Rodney sees the biggest natural resources challenges are coming from flooding and erosion due to development pressure, both commercial and residential. The stream degradation due to poor stormwater management and increased run off have a negative impact on all of Licking County’s residents. The Soil & Water’s mission, oversight from the board and fully staffed organization will help mitigate some of these issues.

    Rodney earned his BS in Agricultural Engineering from Ohio State. His farm operation in Liberty township includes livestock, hay, pasture and woodland. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Licking County Sheep Improvement Committee and a Leader of Social Committee at Church of the Ascension in Johnstown.


Through committees, work can be divided so that far more can be accomplished.  Committees typically meet on a quarterly or as-needed basis. Contact us at for additional information.    

Building/Equipment/Safety Committee - Provides recommendations for technology, equipment, rental program, fleet maintenance, building and barn maintenance, and safety policy.  

Budget Committee - This committee oversees the preparation of the annual budget, managing the organization’s investments, setting compensation packages for staff, and oversees the Annual Giving Campaign.

Program Committee - While staff carries out the day-to-day activities that result in the development and implementation of the organization’s programs, the Program Committee is charged with long-range planning and general oversight. Assists with developing and monitoring the Annual Plan of Work and Strategic Plan; volunteers for programs; represents the Soil & Water District at community events.

Policy/Personnel Committee- Reviews & recommends updates to the employee personnel policy ensuring compliance with County, State, and Federal law. Recommends updates to job descriptions and makes suggestions for the staff evaluation process.

Associate Board Members

Associate Board members are concerned citizens who officially volunteer their time to assist the Board and District.  Associate Board Members serve on board committees, help plan, promote and implement district programs, activities, field days, etc., represent the district at various meetings and events, and present district programs to individuals, groups, and organizations.  Contact us to learn more at  

  • Jeffrey Baker
    Jeffrey Baker

    Jeffrey Baker is a resident of Newark and is Science Teacher at Alpha School, a program to rehabilitate students involved with Perry County Juvenile Court. He holds a BA in Biology from Denison University, a BS in Marketing from Liberty University, an MA in Business Management from Regent University, and an MAT in Biology from Miami University. Jeff served on the Board of Supervisors for three years (2015 - 2017). He would like to see increased community awareness about water pollution issues and increased public support of Licking Soil & Water.

  • Jeff Bates
    Jeff Bates

    Jeff Bates is a Professor and Program Coordinator of the Environmental Science, Safety & Health Department at Columbus State Community College. He is a resident of Johnstown. He holds a Ph.D. Geological Science from The Ohio State University, an M.S. in Geology from Bowling Green State University, and a B.A. in Geology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His areas of interest include water quality, soil management and agriculture.

  • Mamie Hollenback
    Mamie Hollenback