We at Roxley Farms were delighted to be selected the “Conservation Farmers of the Year” for Jefferson County in the summer of 2007. Several local conservation and agriculture officials made the selection based on our conservation plan and the quality of our implementation of that plan.
Our award at the county level qualified us to compete for recognition in the three-county Eastern Panhandle Conservation District. Praise is a great motivator for both of us, so we devoted long extra hours to “grooming” the farm by cleaning our fence lines, pulling weeds, adding stone around the watering tanks, and ‘policing up’ the area generally to prepare for the next team of judges. In this middle-of-the-summer-heat effort we got invaluable help and moral support from a volunteer, Andrea Morissey, who happened to be visiting relatives in the area and was looking for something to do.
Our energies were rewarded when we learned that the judges had selected Roxley Farms to be the 2007 District Winners. Both of the awards carried a small – but not trivial – cash award. More important, we were invited to an awards dinner in Charleston, WV, where each of the district winners were introduced and a brief presentations about the farms’ conservation achievements were shown. The West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture personally handed each of the winners an award plaque. Not only was this visit to the state’s capital our first, we were also able to meet colleagues from around West Virginia, and to become more aware of the great importance the agricultural community places on conservation in this wild and wonderful state.