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Anderson Named Outstanding Cooperator At Awards Banquet

Don Anderson was named 2009 Outstanding Cooperator at the Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District annual awards banquet Thursday night at Ernie’s Restaurant.

Page Wilkerson, district chairman, presented the award, noting Anderson has done an outstanding job in preventing soil loss and improving water quality, while at the same time raising tobacco, which is one of the most cultivation intensive crops. Best management practices, including crop rotations, terraces, waterways, field borders and cover crops, are part of the operation on the tobacco land.

In his cattle operation, Anderson has implemented a rotational grazing system on part of his pastureland and installed a watering system to keep cattle out of the streams and ponds on his property. Anderson also implements best management practices on rented land that is used in tobacco production and in his grazing program as examples of his conservation practices and his keen concern for the environment, Wilkerson noted.

Also as part of the awards banquet, Elizabeth Leggett, Trey Reese and Rebekah Slabach spoke on their experience at the Virginia Tech Youth Conservation Camp last summer. Halifax Soil and Water and Conservation District and Halifax Farm Bureau provided scholarships covering the cost of the camp for the three Halifax County High School students.

J. Hudson Reese received the 2009 Wildlife Conservation Award for his work in restoring and improving existing wildlife habitat. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Wildlife Biologist Dan Lovelace presented the award to Reese.

Mary Pritchard and Jane Belts were recognized by Andrew Brown of the Virginia Department of Forestry for their outstanding accomplishments in forestry and their concern for the land and forests.

Joe Wilkerson was presented the 2009 Clean Water Farm Award by Larry Layman, Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District director. Past Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles created an awards program in 1986 to recognize deserving farmers and landowners who practice good conservation practices to improve water quality.

Approximately 65 invited guests, district directors and staff enjoyed the meal prior to the presentation of awards and special recognition of past Outstanding Cooperators dating back to 1966.

The mission of the Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District is to develop, to promote the proper use of and to protect the natural resources of the district through programs of information, education and technical assistance in cooperation with other agencies.

The vision of the district is to strive to remain flexible and open-minded to accept changes and face the challenges of leadership in the wise use and conservation of natural resources.