Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center named Conservationist of the Year

COVINGTON — The Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center dons a new title as Newton County’s Conservationist of the Year.

The Upper Ocmulgee River Soil and Water Conservation District presented the award to the center after a small farmer workshop at the district’s annual program in October for its achievements in soil and water conservation on the farm.

FFA-FCCLA camp manager Russel Towns said the award came as a surprise.

“It was definitely an honor and a good surprise to hear that what we’re doing is moving the center in the right direction,” Towns said. “We’ve built some fences trying to protect the grazing land and cattle operations.”

The Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center improved conservation efforts by installing cross fences in pastures and exclusionary fencing to keep cattle out of the ponds on the facility.

The new fences allowed the center to incorporate rotational grazing into its grazing schedules.

Several locations were targeted to install heavy-use feeding areas and water troughs have been installed in many of those areas. The center is also constructing four heavy-use areas for feeding hay.

To continue to improve the center, more heavy-use feeding areas and watering facilities will be installed in the future.

The center purchased a Great Plains no-till drill, and each year overseeds the pastures with wheat, rye grass and clover.

The Upper Ocmulgee River Soil and Water Conservation District includes Newton and Jasper counties. It serves as a guardian of the soil and water resources for the citizens.