Drainage Contractor

Overholt Drainage School focuses on education

March 4, 2015  By CFAES

March 4, 2015, Columbus, OH – Drainage contractors, farmers, crop consultants and others interested in learning more about proper subsurface drainage can attend the Overholt Drainage School later this month.

From March 16 to 20, attendees can learn key concepts in water table management, including how proper subsurface drainage can increase yields and benefit Ohio’s water quality. The annual five-day program, which is offered by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at Ohio State University, will focus on agricultural drainage as well as construction and management of soil and water conservation systems, said Larry Brown, an agricultural engineer with joint appointments with Ohio State University Extension and OARDC.

OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.

The Overholt Drainage School, which is led by Ohio State in cooperation with agency and industry experts, is open to anyone interested in advancing their knowledge of basic concepts, principles and skills related to the purpose, design, layout, construction and management of soil and water conservation systems, with emphasis on water management and water quality, said Brown, who is also a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE).


“Ohio’s poorly drained soils can significantly benefit from improved drainage which can result in increased and sustained crop yields,” Brown said. He noted that adding drainage water management (controlled drainage) and/or water table management with subirrigation may result in even greater potential yield increases and will reduce agriculture’s impacts on the state’s water resources.

The school will be held at the Defiance County Emergency Management Agency Building, State Route 15 (22491 Mill Street), in Defiance, Ohio.

The program provides continuing education for land improvement contractors, soil and water conservation technicians, engineers, farmers, consultants, sanitarians, and others interested in learning more about the purpose, design, layout, construction and management of soil and water conservation systems, Brown said.

The conference topics include:

  • Session 1: Agricultural Subsurface Drainage Design, Layout and Installation, March 16 to 18.
  • Session 2: Drainage Water Management: Controlled Subsurface Drainage Design, Layout, Installation and Management, March 18 to 19.
  • Session 3: Water Table Management with Subirrigation: Aspects of Design, Installation, Management and Benefits, March 19 to 20.

The Overholt Drainage School is sponsored by OSU Extension, OARDC, Overholt Drainage Education and Research Program, FABE and CFAES; in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors and Associates.

The full schedule and registration information can be found at agcrops.osu.edu/specialists/soil-and-water-management. Participants should mail the registration form with payment by March 9 to Brown at OSU Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 590 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, Ohio, 43210.

Registration for the full conference is $635, or $450 for session 1, $300 for session 2 and $200 for session 3.

Registration includes tuition, lunches, refreshments, materials, supplies, manuals, guides, design notebooks, engineers’ scale, and certificate of completion. Participants should bring a calculator and pencils.

A field trip may be offered, so participants may want to consider bringing warm clothes and work boots.

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