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Farmers and Students Honored

Last updated on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

(MITCHELL) - Shasta Woodard is the new Natural Resource Conservation Service District Conservationist of the Lawrence County Soil and Water District. She is replacing the retired Jerry Lish.

Hunter Von Leer was recognized as the 2011 conservation Farmer of the year.

Leer, a Lawrence County farmer has been working with the district and the district forester since 2004 on ways to improve his farm in the southwestern portion of the county. He has fenced more than 100 acres of woodlands to exclude livestock and had done timber stand improvements on several acres. He has completed new and enlarged existing watering holes for wildlife habitat and has expanded and is improving trail systems in his woods for recreation, hunting and general access. He has added stream crossings and is providing seed plots for wildlife feeding. He has renovated more than 20 acres of pasture and practicing rotation grazing on 130 acres of pasture. He has installed six concrete tanks with heavy pads and installing more than 2,000 feet of water lines to improve livestock watering capabilities. In addition he is using native timber from his farm to build a new home.

Justin Hawkins was the 2011 River Friendly Farmer.

Hawkins raises commercial cattle, hay, has a small fruit orchard and vegetable garden all located in the East Fork of White River Watershed. He and his wife Shauna, have implemented numerous conservation practices since starting their farm, including high-use area protection for feeding and roadways and geotech fabric and gravel to all major gateways on the property. He also employs heavy use areas with livestock tank, rock and gravel at major stream crossings and livestock exclusion along the entire stream. He has employs invasive species removal, cover crops and legume seeding and rotational grazing.

Winners of the Lawrence County Soil and Water District poster contest was for grades kindergarten to first grade included Todd Maddox, of Lincoln School; for grades 2nd and 3rd was Hannah Bell, of Burris Elementary School; for grades 4th and 5th grades was Micah Cooper from Burris Elementary School; for 7th and 8th grades, Candace Godsey from Oolitic Middle School and for 10th - 12th graders was Harlie Robinson, from Bedford North Lawrence High School. The theme of this year's contest was "Soil To Spoon."

Also honored was Trinity Hardwich as Soil & Water Conservation Project champion at the 2011 Lawrence County 4-H Fair.

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