Charles E. Ausfahl, a Fulton Democrat, has been confirmed by the Missouri Senate as a member of the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission.
Ausfahl's appointment by Gov. Jay Nixon was for a term starting on Sept. 13, 2010. The proposed appointment was heard by the Missouri Senate Gubernatorial Committee on Wednesday and Ausfahl was confirmed for the position by the full Senate on Thursday.
Ausfahl's appointment was sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City.
"This committee's work serves an important service for our state," Kehoe said. "Mr. Ausfahl is a steward of the land and serves as a guardian of our state's future in his work with this committee."
Ausfahl's appointment to the commission expires in August 2012.
A farmer who lives about one and one-half miles south of Fulton, Ausfahl said he represents the northeast area of Missouri north of the Missouri River on the commission.
"As a member of the commission," Ausfahl said, "it is our job to apportion about $40 million to the soil and water districts in each of the state's 114 counties. I want to see that everybody, including farmers in Callaway County, get their fair share of the funds to be used for soil and water conservation projects."
Ausfahl said he farms about 800 acres in Callaway County. "I have some land in the Hatton area and some east of New Bloomfield in a creek bottom area," Ausfahl said.
Ausfahl said he has mainly a cow-calf beef operation now and had more row crops earlier in his life.
"My goal is to leave the land in better shape than when I started farming it," he said.
Ausfahl said farmers use a variety of projects to conserve the soil by preventing erosion. This is accomplished by building terraces, waterways and ponds to conserve the soil.
Ausfahl said no-till cropping and pasture improvements in recent years by farmers around the state have greatly reduced soil erosion.
The Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission formulates general policies and programs for soil and water conservation. It receives and spends funds allocated by the Missouri General Assembly for soil and water districts.
The commission receives and conveys to the districts any form of aid extended from other agencies. It creates and dissolves soil and water districts, creates rules for electing boards of supervisors, and provides assistance to any appropriate board on subjects relating to soil and water conservation.
The 10-member board includes four members who serve by reason of the office they hold. Current members serving in this capacity are Thomas Payne, dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri; Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; John Hoskins, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation; and Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Other members of the commission are Gary Vandiver, Richmond; Richard Fordyce, Bethany; Thomas Bradley, Sikeston; and Mrs. Kathryn Braden, Bradleyville.
There is one vacancy on the commission in the area served south of the Missouri River.