USDA Rocky Mount Service Center *1297 State Street* Rocky Mount* VA 24151 or call at (540) 483-5341 ext. 4 * Henry County Residents (276) 632-3164 ext. 4* www.brswcd.org Please direct your FOIA request for public records and who will oversee the public body's compliance with the provisions of section 2.2-3704.2.C to Kathy B. Smith, Program Manager/Education Coordinator at email@example.com The District Board meets on the fourth Monday of each month in Rocky Mount, Virginia at 5:00 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. Contact the District Office to find out the location of the next meeting.
In 1981 Henry Jamison purchased a dairy farm in western Franklin County. Over the next 33 years he would work to improve the farm, adopting techniques that would allow him to grow the business while being a responsible landowner, protecting the environment, and following a basic principal passed down through the generations of his family, that if one was going to do something, be it farming, or anything else it should be done correctly without having to rely on the help or assistance of others. In short, if you weren’t able to do it right, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
By the 1990’s Henry had removed the old Bank Barn and replaced it with a free stall barn and integrated flush system for a more thorough cleaning of the barn more effectively dealing with the waste and providing a cleaner environment for the cattle. Two pits would be set up to receive all waste and with one being higher than the other, act as a solids separator again to better treat the manure. Throughout this time the herd was being increased from about 40 when the farm was purchased in 1981 to around 60. As additional barns were constructed, gutters and downspouts would be installed to collect the roof runoff and collect it in the pit as well to further reduce erosion and any waste runoff.
Around 2007 the farm would move away from conventional tillage to No-Till and adopt the use of cover crops that continue today. In addition travel lanes would be installed allowing for the more efficient movement of cattle between pastures as they were divided for rotational grazing and reducing erosion. Efforts were made that very steep land would be primarily for grass, terraces installed to slow or divert any overland water flow and grass waterways installed and maintained in any crop field where there were noted concentrated flows.
In 2014 the farm would pass from Henry to his nephew Clinton who operates it today with a milk line that varies between the upper 80’s to mid-90’s, over double of the original milk line in 1981. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication that both Henry and Clinton have put into this operation. Today Clinton carries on the family tradition of doing things the right way because that is simply how that are supposed to be done.
Many of the practices started by Henry have been continued or expanded upon by Clinton. This includes excluding the livestock from all surface water, having both grass and wooded riparian buffers, utilizing soil test and plant sampling for more effective nutrient management and seeking out ways to expand the farm, hoping to one day have all the heifers over one year completely on pasture.
All of these conservation practices have been implemented not as a result of mandate but as a true voluntary effort on the part of Henry and Clinton because it was just the right thing to do. It wasn’t because they would receive cost share or a helping hand, but because they believed as a farmer they were beholden to the land and to their community. For them taking care of the environment and being an active participant in conservation is as much a part of farming as is feeding cattle, mowing hay, and planting crops.
**Grant funding available for residents of the Upper Smith River and Blackberry Creek Watersheds in Henry County. **
Financial assistance available to all income levels.
How the program works:
Contact us for an application and to determine if you qualify
Wait to perform any work on your system until your application has been approved
Funding available until June 30, 2019
Contact Michael Tabor:
(276) 632-3164 ext. 122
Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District
1297 State St, Rocky Mount, VA 24151
Located in the USDA Service Center beside the Comfort Inn.
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S. EPA and the VA Dept. of Environmental Quality under a Section 319 grant agreement 16545 to Blue Ridge SWCD. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA or DEQ, nor does the EPA or DEQ endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.
Three Area V Dominion Envirothon (natural resources competition) teams will advance to the state competition May 20-21 at Ferrum College. The Area V Dominion Envirothon competition was held on April 24, 2018 at Waid Recreation Area & Sports Complex in Rocky Mount and hosted by Blue Ride and Patrick Soil & Water Conservation Districts.
Overall first place at the Area V Envirothon competition went to Fuqua School (sponsored by Piedmont SWCD), placing second overall was Franklin County High School (sponsored by Blue Ridge SWCD) and overall third place went to Buckingham County High School (sponsored by Peter Francisco SWCD). Cumberland County High School also participating in the Area V Envirothon (sponsored by Peter Francisco SWCD).
Envirothon features five “in-the-field” test stations – soils, wildlife, aquatics, forestry and a current environmental issue – where teams answer questions in both written and hands-on formats. During an oral presentation each team proposes a management solution related to the current environmental issue to a panel of
Judges consisting of industry and natural resource professionals. This year’s issue is “Pastureland Management”. Franklin County High School and Fuqua School’s Dominion Envirothon Teams tied for 1st place overall in Soils. Franklin County High School placed 2nd in Oral Presentation and placed 2nd Overall in the top three teams to advance to Virginia’s Dominion Envirothon State Competition at Ferrum College. Fuqua School placed 1st overall to advance to the state competition.
“The intense study required for this contest helps prepare students for college entrance exams, as well as possible careers in field associated with natural resources,” said Steven Meeks, President of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Fueled by Dominion Energy’s generous sponsorship, the Envirothon program will undoubtedly continue to grow. Cindy Balderson, Philanthropy Manager for Dominion Energy and The Dominion Foundation shared the excitement of the new partnership stating, “We believe the students’ participation in Envirothon activities will prepare them for college and beyond, as they study environmental issues and become advocates and stewards of our natural resources.
The team that earns 1st place at the state level competition will travel to Pocatello, Idaho to battle it out at the North American competition (July 22-July 26, 2018).
Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District (serving Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke) needs help sponsoring students for next year’s Envirothon. If you can help, or would like to know more about starting an Envirothon team at your high school through 4-H, FFA, Ecology Club or home school group, contact Kathy Smith at (540) 483-5341 ext. 117 or (276) 632-3164 ext. 117 or contact the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts at (800) 727-6354.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District Budget/Finance Committee will meet in the Conference Room of the USDA Service Center, 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, Virginia on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Have you thought about your septic system lately? For most people septic systems are “out of sight and out of mind.” They may go years without worrying about the system until there is a problem. Although septic systems can be easy to overlook, maintaining it is an important part of being a homeowner. Routine maintenance can prevent problems before they occur, avoiding future repairs or system replacements that can be very costly. However, no septic system is designed to last forever and signs of a failing septic system can include sewage backups into a home, and lush green vegetation over areas of the drain field or other buried system components that may have a bad smell and be mushy. In Henry County there are many older homes not connected to a public sewer that may be in need of septic repair or complete replacement.
Funding is available through the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District to reimburse homeowners for 50% of the costs of septic system pump-outs, public sewer hook-ups (where available), repairs, and replacements. In addition, the program also educates residents about proper septic system care and about the environmental and health impacts of failing septic systems. Applicants must live in the portion of the Smith River watershed northwest of Martinsville and the Blackberry Creek watershed in Henry County to be eligible. Funding rates may also be eligible to be increased in lower income situations.
To learn more about our septic program, determine if you live in an eligible watershed, or request an application, please contact Michael Tabor at (276) 632-3164 ext. 122 or Allen Jackson at ext.118. Inquiries can also be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and also during regular office hours (8-4:30 p.m M-F) at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S. EPA and the VA Dept. of Environmental Quality under a Section 319 grant agreement 16545 to Blue Ridge SWCD.
The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA or DEQ, nor does the EPA or DEQ endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.
The Blue Ridge SWCD is offering high school seniors and college freshmen (residing in Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke) who are planning a career in natural resource conservation or a related field the opportunity to apply for the Leo Painter College Scholarship up to $1,000.00.
The award winning application of this local scholarship (Leo Painter Scholarship) will be submitted to the 2018 VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Awards Program for an opportunity to be awarded an additional $1,000 scholarship out of the a total of four $1,000 scholarships available state wide (through the VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc.).
To apply for this college scholarship opportunity, promoting the education of Virginia citizens in technical fields with natural resource conservation and environmental protection, contact Kathy B. Smith (Program Manager/Education Coordinator) at (540) 483-5341 ext. 117 or at KSmith@brswcd.org for a copy of the 2018 Scholarship-Guidelines-Application form or click on this linik to access the 2018 Scholarship Guidelines and application 2018 Scholarship-Guidelines-Application-2018. Each qualified student is asked to complete 2018 Scholarship application and submit it to the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151 no later than Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at the close of business.
2018 Prospective scholarship candidates – Individual applicants must be full-time college freshmen or students who have applied to a college freshman level curriculum.Applicants shall document a class ranking in the top 20% of his or her graduating class or a 3.0 or greater Grade Point Average or appropriate equivalent of individual scholastic achievement. The applicant’s most recent official high school transcript must accompany the application. A copy of a school transcript will not be accepted. Applicants shall demonstrate active interest in conservation.
Applicants who were high school seniors in 2017 to apply again in 2018 as scholarship guidelines allow those “enrolled in a freshman college curriculum or applying to a college freshmen level curriculum” to be considered.
Submitted applications will be reviewed and screened by the Blue Ridge SWCD Scholarship Committee. All applications and information contained therein shall remain confidential.
All programs and services of the Blue Ridge SWCD and the Virginia Association of Soil & Water conservation District’s Educational Foundation, Inc. are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or disability. All submitted paperwork is confidential and becomes the property of the VASWCDEF Inc.
The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District is offering scholarship(s) to a limited number of qualified applicant(s) within Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke to attend an expense paid, week-long conservation camp at Virginia Tech. Camp dates are Sunday, July 8 through Saturday, July 14, 2018. Soil and Water Conservation officials from the local, state and federal levels and Virginia Tech faculty members work together to conduct the camp.
Applicants must be in grades 9 through 12 of the 2017-2018 academic school year. Twelfth graders who graduate from high school in May, June, July or August 2018 are eligible to attend. Previous youth conservation campers cannot attend. Please contact Kathy Smith, Program Manager/Education Coordinator at Ksmith@brswcd.org or (540) 483-5341 ext. 117.
The 2018 Youth Conservation Camp applications are to be received by the Blue Ridge District office no later than by the close of business on Friday, April 6, 2018.
The scholarship winner(s) will be notified by the district as soon as possible.
Submitted applications will be reviewed and screened by the Blue Ridge SWCD Scholarship Committee. Upon notification, the winner(s) will be required to send $75.00 to the Blue Ridge SWCD. This $75 will be fully refunded upon completion of the camp and a brief report to the directors about their camp adventures. Travel to and from the camp is the responsibility of the student.
Cooperative Forestry Director Steve Koehn, left, with 2018 Forest Stewardship Field Forester Kevin Keith. Photo by Andrew Owen, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. Forest Service photo.
The Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship Program partners with state forestry agencies to assist private landowners in actively managing their forests. Every two years the Forest Stewardship Program recognizes a state forestry agency field forester who has made a significant contribution to the Forest Service mission of sustaining the nation’s forests and grasslands.
Kevin Keith has been recognized as the 2018 Forest Stewardship Field Forester. As a senior area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, he manages a multi-county work area and supervises four employees. As a field forester, he provides exceptional service to private forest landowners. His 2016 accomplishments highlight his passion for sustaining healthy private forests: he wrote 24 forest stewardship management plans to help private landowners better manage 9,048 acres of forestland. He also wrote 92 other management plans covering 2,752 acres, implemented 725 forest restoration activities on 21,686 acres and planted 8,552 trees on 236 sites. Keith annually uses more than $100,000 in federal and state cost-share funds to promote healthier forests, including increased pre-commercial pine thinning and site preparation prior to planting.
Actively managed private forests provide local jobs, timber revenue, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreation opportunities and many other public benefits. Keith’s assistance to private forest landowners is invaluable to the public good.