Annual Awards Showcase Water Conservation in Texas

Protecting the environment and preserving the land that serves as the foundation for the livelihoods of our nation’s farmers and ranchers are taken very seriously by the AgAmerica Lending team.

Water is a key resource for farmers and ranchers and no one is more cognizant of the need to conserve and protect this natural resource. We would like to congratulate the Texas farmers and ranchers from Texas who have been recently recognized for their water conservation efforts in their farming practices.

These conservationists have been acknowledged for their dedication to conservation and management of renewable natural resources by the Texas Conservation Awards Program. Additionally, they will be honored by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and the Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD) on October 30, 2018 at an awards luncheon at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. The Texas Conservation Awards Program began in the 1970s to recognize conservationists and their role in managing Texas’ natural resources. The program’s purpose is to acknowledge, recognize, and honor individuals that dedicate their time and efforts to the conservation of natural resources. The program gives the opportunity for competition and incentives to expand and improve on conservation practices and management of renewable natural resources. The Texas Conservation Awards Program recognizes water conservation efforts through a Poster Contest and Junior and Senior Essay Contests, and awarding the annual Conservation Farmer, Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District, Conservation Rancher, Friend of Conservation, Conservation Teacher, and Wildlife Conservationist.

The 2018 Water Conservation Winners

Emma Willemin from Inez, Texas and the Victoria Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) won the 2018 Poster Contest on the subject “Healthy Soils are Full of Life.”

This was also the topic for the Essay Contest in which Trey Johnston, of George West, Texas and the Live Oak Soil and Water Conservation District, won first place in the Junior Division and Lindee Miller, of Silverton, Texas and the Caprock Soil and Water Conservation District, won first place in the Senior Division.

Other honorees in the 2018 Conservation Award Winners included:

The Conservation Farmer: Randall Bankhead, Nolan County SWCD #245, a fourth-generation farmer dedicated to innovative and progressive techniques of farming. Nearly 5,000 acres near Champion, Texas has remained productive with conservation methods implemented to prevent soil erosion, improve soil health and structure, and conserve water usage. He has been a leader in finding new ways to conserve resources while steadily increasing his yields. Bankhead was the first farmer in Nolan County to install drip irrigation and improved his water conservation by converting side-roll and flood irrigation with pivots. He was also the first in Nolan County to change from conventional tillage to minimum-till or no-till farming.

The Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District: Terry Soil and Water Conservation District #151, shared this award with district board members: Chairman Katie Day, Vice Chairman Geoffrey Cooper, and District Directors Kathy Henson, Glen Martin, and Nicholas Seaton. The Terry Soil and Water Conservation District award has provided farmers and ranchers of Terry County since the 1940s with technical and financial assistance to encourage wise and productive use of natural resources. Its goal is to ensure the availability of resources for future generations and to promote a clean, healthy environment and strong economic growth.

Conservation Rancher: Pitchfork Land & Cattle, Co., King SWCD #168. Pitchfork Ranch has deep historic roots, established in 1883 it operates nearly 165,000 contiguous acres in Texas and also operates in Oklahoma. The ranch partners with many conservation groups and has done an outstanding job being dedicated stewards of the land and setting an example for others to follow.

Read more about the resource and water conservation efforts of the 2018 award winners.

Helping with Your Water Conservation Needs

AgAmerica Lending recognizes these farmers and ranchers for water conservation and renewable resources throughout the state of Texas and want to encourage others to take the initiative in doing the same on your operation. We pride ourselves on playing a part in continuing the rich tradition of agriculture and helping the industry remain as strong. For those looking to invest in water conservation efforts, connect with our team of experts today and see what land loan options are available to help steer you on the path to conservation and resource management.