Pamunkey River Crimper Roller No Till Soybeans Shoreline Stabilization Agriculture Awareness Day


Annually, in February, the Three Rivers SWCD has an awards banquet to recognize area adult and student conservation leaders for their outstanding contributions to the preservation of our natural resources and support of educational projects. The following awards were presented.

Wildlife Food Plot Competition

One student from Essex High School, Bryce Tignor, and three students from King William High School, Meredith Hill, Vincent Redman and Zack QuickThree Rivers sponsors a Wildlife Food Plot Competition each year with students in grades 9-12. It is not only to attract wildlife but to provide an opportunity for the students to learn about conservation and wildlife while helping them to develop an appreciation of the world around them. Applications are submitted annually on September 30 and the plots are judged on seed production, variety of seeds used, location of plot, size, and bonus points are given for evidence of wildlife using the plots.

We have two students from Essex High School, Bryce Tignor and Elyse Betz, and four students from King William High School, Peyton Hill, Nick Lancaster, Lewis Redman and Hunter Smith. All participants did a great job on their plot and each will receive a certificate and a check for participating in the competition.

Partnership Award

Bob Waring and Wayne Davis of the Department of Conservation & Recreation were recognized with the Partnership AwardMike Budd with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and NRCS and Faye Hundley with Essex County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee were recognized with the Partnership Award.

Faye has been integral in assisting Three Rivers with meeting our goals in outreach education through the Agricultural Awareness Day in Essex County for 3rd and 4th graders. Faye and the Women’s Committee conduct a booth teaching students Ag in the Classroom program material developed by Farm Bureau.

Mike Budd, Private Lands Biologist, provides technical responsibility and promotion to the Wildlife BMP Cost Share Program in King & Queen County. This cost share program is a cooperative agreement between NRCS, the Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries and the Three Rivers Soil & Water Conservation District. Mike has been successful in recruiting landowners to set aside or install wildlife areas for the benefit of quail habitat.

Youth Conservation Camp

Shannon Ayers, from Essex High School, was chosen to receive a camp scholarship to attend the week long Youth Conservation Camp at Virginia Tech this past summer.

Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Award

Robert Payne Longest exhibits outstanding work with resource management and is dedicated to the protection of the York watershed and the Chesapeake BayCohoke Farm in King William was selected for this year’s Clean Water Farm Award. The Cohoke Farm partnership began in 1980 and their cash grain operation consists of 1,418 acres of soybeans, 1,118 acres of corn, 559 acres of wheat, 322 acres of barley, and 568 acres of cotton. They also have farmed acreage in Maryland consisting of soybeans, corn and wheat. Throughout the acres of cropland, no-till is consistently practiced. In the winter months many of their fields are planted to cover crops not only for nutrient value, but also to decrease erosion. Nutrient Management and Integrated Pest Management are two of the valuable tools they use. Soil tests are taken regularly to determine fertilizer and liming rates. Their Nutrient Management Plan was written by Bob Waring of DCR and is currently being implemented. Cohoke was one of the first operations to adopt the No-till farming method and to obtain a Nutrient Management plan. Two drop structures have been installed to prevent excessive soil erosion from entering waterways. Field borders and/or filter strips have been planted and are maintained along the edges of their fields to trap sediment and nutrients. In addition to cropland conservation management, the Johnson’s work with the Department of Forestry through a Forest Stewardship plan.
Clean Water Farm Award
They are also active in our community by participating in the Three Rivers Soil and Water Conservation District Board, the Southern States Corporate Board, the Farm Service Agency Committee, Farm Bureau, the United Soybean Board and also the Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance and many more. The Three Rivers Soil & Water Conservation District feels the Johnsons exhibit outstanding work with resource management and are dedicated to the protection of water quality in the York watershed and the Chesapeake Bay. We are proud to present the Cohoke Farm with the Bay Friendly Clean Water Farm Award.

Wildlife Conservationist Award

If the quail population makes the rebound in King and Queen County that I expect it to, then a lot of credit belongs to Minor Farms. Phil Minor has embraced the quail project since the first day he heard about it, and has even spread the word to others. Mr. Minor is exactly the type of conservation minded farmer we need in order for wildlife management to be successful. Within the first few months of the program being offered, Mr. Minor enrolled several acres of his own farmland into the quail program. Within the first year he had encouraged several other landowners to enroll into the program as well. You could say that Mr. Minor has had an influence on nearly 100 acres of quality wildlife habitat in King and Queen County, as he has convinced other landowners to provide buffered edges regardless of whether or not they sign up for the cost-share programs.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Three Rivers District would like to express their gratitude for the exceptional conservation work undertaken by Phil Minor. We are appreciative of your efforts and confident that the call of the bob-white will be something future generations will be able to enjoy.

Outstanding Stewardship Award
Outstanding Stewardship Award 2011 Outstanding Stewardship Award 2011

This year’s recipient of the Three Rivers District Outstanding Stewardship Award is Brooks Farm LLC. The Brooks were born and raised in Essex County and farm in both Essex and King and Queen Counties. The crop rotations utilized by the Brooks are 1,289 acres of corn, 539 acres of wheat, and 1,511 acres of soybeans. Throughout the acres of cropland, continuous no-till is consistently practiced. During the fall months, cover crops are planted not only for nutrient value but also to decrease erosion.

Their Nutrient Management Plan was written by Bob Waring of the Department of Conservation & Recreation, and is currently being implemented and all spray equipment is calibrated properly. The Brooks regularly practice split applications of nutrients for their wheat and side-dress corn. The Brooks scout fields for insects, weeds and diseases and use established thresholds when applying pesticides. Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act Plans and Conservation plans have been developed and are actively utilized on all cropland. They are also active in our community by participating with their local Farm Bureau, and with Extension Agent Keith Balderson on soybean plots. Therefore, the Three Rivers District feels the Brooks have demonstrated a conscious effort to preserve and conserve natural resources within our community. We are pleased to present Brooks Farm LLC with the Outstanding Stewardship Award.

Service Award

Outstanding Stewardship Award is Ray, Winston and Stephen Ellis Two directors were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the Three Rivers Soil & Water Conservation District. Frank Townsend has served the District for 40 years and Todd Henley has served for 30 years.

Three Rivers Soil & Water Conservation District • 772 Richmond Beach Road • P.O.Box 815 • Tappahannock • VA • 22560-0815