Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 7, 2014

Thomas County farmer earns conservation award

Staff report

THOMASVILLE — The Middle South Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors and its cooperating banks held their Annual Conservationist of the Year banquet recently.

 Bert Hurst Farms is the 2013 Conservationist of the Year for Thomas County. Bert Hurst Jr. began farming in the early 1980s with his father and has been a diligent participant of NRCS resources and programs. He now operates independently under Little River Ag Inc. and J & R Inc. His farming operations consist of planting cotton, corn, peanuts, wheat and tobacco. He also utilizes various conservation practices on the farm such as strip tilling, continuous no till, drift reduction, target spray application, as well as plant and tissue testing. Hurst remains consistent in utilizing NRCS conservation programs in the day-to-day management and improvement of his farming operations. He enjoys combining the opportunities and benefits offered with his own personal techniques in order to achieve advanced results.

This conservation award is given to the outstanding conservationist in the nine surrounding counties that represent the Middle South GA Soil & Water Conservation District. Highlighting the program was guest speaker Mark “Dill” Driscoll, dean of Business at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and Chairman Milton Ussery of Ben Hill County preceded the evening program. This award is issued to those who achieve excellence in the field of soil and water conservation.  The winners are improving their land as well as helping to improve their community and state. 

Additional winners included Mitch Shiver of Ben Hill County, DeWitt Farms of Brooks County, Saunders Brothers Farms of Colquitt County, Southern Comfort Dairy, Inc. of Crisp County, Grant Carter Farms of Irwin County, Greg Davis Farms of Tift County, King Ranch Farms of Turner County and David Bryan of Worth County. It is through their conservation efforts and dedication that natural resources are preserved for future generations.        

The Middle South Georgia Soil & Water Conservation District was organized on July 11, 1939 following the infamous “Dust Bowl.” The nine counties that represent the district are Ben Hill, Brooks, Colquitt, Crisp, Irwin, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Worth Counties. The primary goal of conservation districts in Georgia is to provide maximum protection to our valuable soil and water resources. Representing Thomas County, District Supervisor Donald Hall and District Supervisor Carrol S. Fort Sr. work diligently to preserve our natural resources. Their assistance provides professional conservation education to students, as well as assisting landowners and residents with various conservation programs and erosion & sediment control education.

If you would like more information about the Middle South Soil & Water Conservation District contact Regional Representative Luke Crosson at 229-995-6001.