Awards presented to outstanding conservationistsPublished 10:19am Wednesday, June 4, 2014
By Stacey Bradshaw
BOYKINS—The Chowan Basin Soil and Water Conservation District recently hosted its annual awards banquet to recognize outstanding landowners and agricultural operators in the Greensville, Southampton and Sussex areas.
The District presented 10 awards in the categories of Wildlife, Clean Water Farm Award, Conservation Farm Award and Forestry.
The recipients for Greensville County included Moore’s Farm of Skippers, owner, Glenn Moore for Outstanding Conservationist, Richard Short for Forestry and Scott Higgs owner of Long Leaf Pine LLC, for the Wildlife award.
Southampton County had three awards presented to landowners and/or producers in the categories of Wildlife, Forestry and Outstanding Conservationist. The Wildlife Conservationist award went to Hosea Smith in the Boykins area. Smith was a prime candidate to participate in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement program to convert marginal cropland to native warm season grasses and trees. In doing so, Smith has enhanced the benefit to wildlife and pollinators. He is not afraid to try new techniques and has also participated in several trials conducted by Virginia State University. Smith is a participant in the District’s tire recycling program.
Maynard Grizzard owns land in the Capron area and was recognized with the Forestry Award in Southampton County. Grizzard participated in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program planting 20 acres of long leaf pines. He has also established many food plots for wildlife on the property. He manages his land using proven best management practices including prescribed burning, release spraying, and pre-commercial thinning. Grizzard feels that he needs to be a strong steward of the land in lieu of neglecting the land and the wildlife that relies upon it in favor of commercial uses and the associated profits from those uses.
The Outstanding Conservationist award went to a young farmer in the Drewryville area, Jason Hodges. Hodges owns and operates Southampton Farms and manages the acres he farms using cover crops, no-till and nutrient management practices, such as split application of fertilizers and integrated pest management.
His primary goal is to run a commercially viable business with as little adverse environmental impacts as possible, while at least maintaining or improving the natural resources at hand. Each farm is assessed for needs to improve the soil and water quality and once those needs are identified, Jason does his best to use best management practices to address problems and make the land less erosive and more productive.
The Sussex County award for Forestry was presented to Kevin Monahan and his sons, Drew and Brad for Forestry.
They own and operate Bowling Green Farms LLC in northern Sussex County around Waverly. Clinton Holloway was recognized as the Wildlife Award winner for his efforts in enhancing land he owns and operates for the benefit of wildlife. Jared Webb was recognized as the Sussex County Conservationist of the Year. Webb operates around Yale. The Clean Water Farm Award was awarded to Robert “Bob” Rogers of Sussex County. He was a past recipient of the Outstanding Conservationist Award in 1996.
The Chowan Basin Soil and Water Conservation District directors and staff thank these award winners again for their dedication to the land and our natural resources.
STACEY BRADSHAW is the District Manager/Conservation Specialist for the SWCD.