Washington County Landowner Works to Save Natural Resources
By Joyce Nicholas, NRCS District Conservationist, Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama
(l-r) Emanual King shows his fencing to NRCS DC Joyce Nicholas.
NRCS strives to provide technical and financial assistance to a diverse group of individuals. I believe that it can be said--one thing is for sure--we treat everyone equal. Each person is unique. We strive to provide the same good service to all landowners, no matter who they are! One such prestigious landowner, Emanuel King, is a retired professional football player—a one time leading linebacker for the late great Paul "Bear" Bryant at the University of Alabama. He also played for the Cincinnati Bengals and then the Los Angeles Raiders.
Most days when I go to the field, I wear my big straw hat that provides me some protection from the hot rays of the sun we get in south Alabama. When I started my day at 5:30 a.m. on that June morning, I was obviously not thinking clearly when I decided to wear my Auburn University (AU) cap to make a field visit in LeRoy, Alabama. That was a big mistake on this particular day.
Soil Conservationist Josh Elliott and I were meeting with Mr. King to certify some fencing practices. Because Mr. King had the privilege to play football for the University of Alabama during the last two seasons of Bryant’s reign as the coach, he was, of course, still loyal to his alumni and spoke kindly of his famous former coach and the lasting impressions that he has about his time at the University of Alabama. Needless to say, my AU hat created a stir and some lighthearted banter of who is the favorite or the best team.
Mr. King is doing a great job in applying the practices in his conservation plan. The field visit was planned because it is important to the agency that we ensure that all of our participants apply their planned conservation practices to meet NRCS standards. But Mr. King is taking it one step further. There are times when the practice meets the minimum requirement and sometimes the landowners will go beyond the minimum requirement. Mr. King is working hard to apply his conservation practices beyond the minimum requirements.
We are excited to work with Mr. King—no matter what school he cheers for. He has done a splendid job on his EQIP fencing and is working towards completing his other planned conservation practices. Mr. King is working hard to conserve his natural resources, which in good time, will also provide better management for his farming operation.
As an NRCS employee, I work with each unique landowner as best I can. I always remember our goal to help save the natural resources on the land.
"Helping people help the land, " what a great job...and most days I get to wear a hat to work!
l-r: King and NRCS SC Josh Elliott.