Soil and Water

 Conservation Farm Family

Each year the Soil and Water Conservation Districts recognizes and awards farmers and farm families who are taking the initiative to implement sound, innovative and cost-effective conservation techniques and are actively involved in conservation practices, activities, and education.  
 
2017 Conservation Farm Family
Roger and Brenda Blake from the Healing Springs Township are the 2017 Conservation Farm Family for Davidson Soil and Water Conservation District.  They were recently recognized for this accomplishment at the District's Annual Awards Banquet.  The Blakes's farm is approximately 500 acres of corn and soybeans in the southern area of Davidson and Rowan Counties.  They were selected as this year's Conservation Farm Family because of their many years of practicing excellent soil and water conservation on the land that they farm.  An additional factor in their selection is their extensive involvement in their Church and community.
 
No-till has been the way that all crops are produced on the farm for many years.  Utilizing these methods along with an excellent crop rotation system has virtually eliminated erosion in the fields and is promoting improved soil health that leads to cleaner water leaving the farm.  Improved soil health also paves the way for increased yields and greater resistance to drought, insects, and diseases.
 
One of the interesting products from the Blake Farm is sorghum syrup.  A few acres are dedicated to the production of soughum that is used to produce the sweet treat known as sorgum syrup.  Sorghum syrup has a lighter sweeter taste than miolasses.  Making the syrup leads to a community get together to cook the syrup with time for fellowship and friendship.  Roger's sorghum syrup making skills led to his syrup be selected as the best in the nation in 2013.   
 
Prior to developing knee problems, Roger was well known for his grading work that installed many conservation measures throughout southern Davidson County.  He built numerous farm ponds, grassed waterways, installed tile drainage, and completed many other conservation practices for various farms.  
 
Davidson SWCD is proud to recognize Roger and Brenda Blake for their many years of dedication to their community and to sound soil and water conservation.  Congratulations for being selected as the 2017 Conservation Farm Family.
 
2016 Conservation Farm Family
Seth and Sarah Yowell of Cedar Ridge Farm were selected as the 2016 Conservation Farm Family for Davidson County. This award recognizes farmers and farm families who are taking the initiative to implement sound, innovative and cost-effective conservation techniques and are actively involved in conservation education.  Cedar Ridge Farm consists of 399 acres in what was formally a tobacco farm on highly erodible land.  The farm now has crops planted in a no till operation, forest plans, and wildlife habitats, all of which has significantly reduced soil erosion.  Crops are grown in a rotating pattern to control erosion, reduce pests and diseases, and improve soil quality.  There are cover crops to control erosion and increase soil quality.  Native grasses have been planted to provide improved wildlife habitat.
Their farm is located in the north-central area of the County and is considered a model. They were chosen for their willingness to try new practices, their leadership within the farming community, and their progressive thinking for incorporating technology.  They have worked closely with Davidson SWCD and NRCS to implement conservation plans and installed many modern conservation practices and best management practices on the farm to address the natural resource concerns of the farm to improve soil health, and wildlife habitat. The Yowell's are diligent in maintaining the overall appearance of the farm and their property.  In addition to be our 2016 Conservation Farm Family, their farm was also selected as the 2016 Area VIII Outstanding Conservation Farm Family, which consists of 12 Counties.  They were honored at our Annual Awards Banquet in October for their conservation activities, stewardship, community leadership, conservation practices and conservation knowledge. Congratulations to Seth and Sarah for being our 2016 Conservation Farm Family and thank you for helping protect our natural resources.
 
2015 Conservation Farm Family
Rodney and Donna Fulton were selected as the 2015 Conservation Farm Family for Davidson County. This award recognizes farmers and farm families who are taking the initiative to implement sound, innovative and cost-effective conservation techniques and are actively involved in conservation education. The Fultons farm is considered a model. Their farm is located in the northern area of the County. They were chosen for their willingness to try new practices, their leadership within the farming community, and their progressive thinking for incorporating technology with their cattle and poultry operations.
They have also installed many modern conservation practices and best management practices on the farm to address the natural resource concerns of the farm and to conserve and protect the soil and improve water quality. The farm is a member of the Davidson County Voluntary Agricultural District.  The Fultons are diligent in maintaining the overall appearance of the farm and their property. They maintain 60 head of cattle and about 80,000 chickens. Their conservation practices include critical area planting, livestock exclusion, heavy use area protection at livestock water tanks, water pipelines, 4 water tank units, water storage structure, and a mortality incinerator. They manage 50 acres of hay, and 80 acres of rangeland/pasture.
The farm maintains a forest management plan on 30 acres of timber. Mrs. Fulton is an agricultural education teacher and have been an FFA Advisor since 1994, this has allowed the farm to serve as an educational site for local high school agricultural education programs. The Fultons have hosted cattle association field days and tours and served as a host work site for Agricultural Education Student Internships and Co-op work programs. The Fultons have served as advisors with agriculture and livestock related student projects. Both Rodney and Donna are graduates of NC State University with Agricultural Degrees. They were honored at our Annual Awards Banquet in September and was applauded for his conservation activities, stewardship, community leadership, education practices and conservation knowledge. Congratulations to the Rodney and Donna for being the 2015 Conservation Farm Family and thank you for helping protect our natural resources.