Pendleton County’s Carr Farm took home the third place award at the West Virginia Conservation Partnership Conference in Flatwoods on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The Carr Farm, owned and operated by Roy and Lois Carr, consists of 180 acres of owned land and 310 acres of rented property. The farm is a cow/calf and sheep operation and is located in the Seneca Rocks area of Pendleton County, WV.[private]
The Carr Farm is a third generation farm beginning in the late 1800s and handed down through the Kisamore family. The Carrs have been district cooperators since 1995, and they serve as role models to the community through their farm management practices. “This is truly a family farm, as they keep their future generations involved, including their son Doug, his wife Joanie and their children, Tyler and Jaimee,” said Doris Brackenrich, Potomac Valley’s NRCS district conservationist.
The Carr Farm livestock includes 105 lambs, 80 cows, and five hogs. Most of the rented property is used as pasture during the summer months while the home farm is primarily hay land with late-summer and winter grazing. With the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District, and the West Virginia Conservation Agency (WVCA), the Carrs have participated in various cost-share programs implementing conservation practices. Some of the practices completed through the NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program are prescribed grazing, pasture and hay land planting, pasture division fencing, critical area planting, forage harvest management, stream bank and shoreline protection, waste storage structures, and water developments.
“The Carrs have set an example through their use of sound conservation practices and are outstanding representatives of conservation in West Virginia,” said Louis Aspey, West Virginia’s NRCS state conservationist. “They are the best of the best in terms of conservation and it’s exciting to see what great contributions these families make to their communities. They are outstanding examples of how voluntary, locally-led conservation benefits local economies and the environment.”
The Carrs are strong supporters of the local Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters and 4-H clubs, hosting various educational activities for students. Lois has been the financial secretary for Petersburg High School in Grant County for 20 years and before that, she worked as secretary at Seneca Rocks and Franklin Elementary Schools. Both Lois and Roy are members of the Pendleton County Farm Bureau and Cabins Assembly of God Church.
“They are true stewards of the land and enjoy extending their hospitality and love of agriculture with all who visit the farm,” added Brackenrich.
Every year, one farm in West Virginia wins the prestigious Conservation Farm of the Year Award. To be in the running, each farm first had to win at the county, district, and area levels respectively. A panel of judges then toured each of the farms over the summer and ranked them based on the implementation of conservation plans in conjunction with other community-based activities.
Representing Hardy County this year was C Elwood Williams. Mr. Williams is a pioneer in the field of high tunnel production of vegetables and ornamental plants and serves as a mentor and advisor for new and interested producers. He utilizes organic farming practices such as planting certain flowers and herbs for white fly control, and pollinator friendly techniques. He has implemented a variety of conservation practices, including a micro-irrigation system for the high tunnel and the use of cover crops and nutrient management to reach a higher level of productivity with reduced chemical and financial input.
The panel of judges at the state level included Commissioner Leonhart and officials from WVCA, NRCS, Farm Service Agency, State Conservation Committee, West Virginia Division of Forestry, West Virginia University Extension Service, and WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture Natural Resources and Design.
The West Virginia Conservation Awards Council honored the Carr Farm at the annual Conservation Partnership awards and recognition banquet. Receiving first place was the Little Brown Cow Dairy Farm near Greenville, Monroe County. The Family Roots Farm near Wellsburg in Brooke County, came in second.
For information and to apply for programs, please contact your local USDA Service Center , your local conservation district, or visit our website: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov.[/private]