The Washington County Soil Conservation District held its annual Conservation Awards Banquet on Thursday, November 6th at Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church. The Conservation awards banquet is a way to gather producers and partners to honor individuals who have promoted conservation of natural resources on their farms in Washington County. The banquet recognizes a conservation farmer of the year, Washington County SCD Youth Board achievements, and also highlights accomplishments of the district.
Approximately 100 attendees were at the 2014 awards banquet, which began with a meal then led into the awards portion of the evening. The program highlighted outreach opportunities the district had throughout the year as well as pictures from youth board events and finally the farmer of the year.
The Washington County Soil Conservation District board selected Mr. Tim Fletcher as the 2014 Conservation Farmer of the year. Tim and his family are from Nicklesville, VA and have a 230 acre farm in Fall Branch, TN. Mr. Fletcher currently has approximately 50 head of bucking stock cattle on the farm and has a goal to have more registered Angus and Angus influenced calves on the farm in the future. Mr. Fletcher was chosen as the conservation farmer of the year for his efforts in protecting his natural resources and reducing the soil erosion issues that were present on the farm. Tim installed over 17,000 feet of new fencing on the farm which has allowed him to practice rotational grazing and exclude cattle from sensitive areas and limit access to the pond and stream on the property. Tim also installed a stream crossing for the cattle and his farm equipment to cross the creek in a safe manner. Three frost free watering tanks were installed to provide clean and safe drinking water to the cattle in areas that were needed. Lastly, Tim had a serious soil erosion problem on the farm before conservation practices were installed. A hillside, which led to a drainage ditch along the access road, was continually being eroded away and the ditch continued to become deeper as the eroding became more severe. With the stabilization of the hillside and the rock chute Tim installed, he was able to save the road from being washed away all together.
Through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program and through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tim received cost share to install these conservation practices on his farm. Because of his desire and concern to conserve the natural resources on his farm not only for the present but for the future, Mr. Fletcher was a great selection for the farmer of the year. Congratulations to Tim and his family on this achievement!
By Mara Holley
Chairman Roy Gillis presents Tim Fletcher with the Conservation Farmer of the Year.
Conservation practices installed to reduce soil erosion
Frost free watering tank installed
Stream Crossing Installed