Annual Clean Water Farm Awards presented

From left are Danny Withers, Robert and Linda Taylor with their granddaughter Katie Vanlandingham, Jerry Withers and Allen Clarke.

The Northern Neck Soil and Water Conservation District (NNSWCD) recently presented its annual Clean Water Farm Awards.

Four Northern Neck farmers who demonstrated a commitment to protecting water quality and soil resources were recognized at the NNSWCD holiday dinner on December 14.

Kirk Vanlandingham received the 2016 Chesapeake Bay Potomac Basin Clean Water Farm Award.

“Kirk has begun utilizing precision Ag on all of the land that he farms in Northumberland and Richmond counties. He also plants annual cover crops and has no-tilled all farmland since 1993,” said NNSWCD conservation specialist Danny Withers. “Kirk has demonstrated knowledge, experience and commitment to conservation on his farm.”

Allen Clarke, Robert Taylor and Jerry Withers, who formed a farming partnership in 1989, received the 2016 Chesapeake Bay Rappahannock Basin Clean Water Farm Award for their efforts on the land that they farm in Richmond and Westmoreland counties.

“Allen, Robert and Jerry have shown a passion for conservation by implementing numerous best management practices throughout the years. These gentlemen are always eager to try various practices, such as utilizing cereal rye for cover crop and no-tilling,” said Withers.

Beginning in 1998, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation implemented The Clean Water Farm Award Program to recognize farmers who utilize practices designed to protect water quality and soil resources in the Commonwealth. Such practices may include vegetative riparian buffers, cover crops, conservation tillage, livestock exclusion from waterways and nutrient management plans, as stated in Title 10.1-104.3 of the Code of Virginia.