Laurens County Success Stories
Allen (PDF) (470 KB) html
Faulk (PDF) (236 KB) html
Hogan (PDF) (154 KB) html
When Dudley residents Bobby and Jan Allen wanted to keep their cows out of the water and prevent their stream bank from eroding, they called USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for help.
District Conservationist Britt Parker and Soil Conservation Technician Scotty Thomas worked with the Allen family to develop a conservation plan to prevent soil erosion and keep the cows out of the water. The plan specified fencing the cattle out of the stream, installing a stream crossing, and planting vegetation to create a natural filtering system and to hold the soil in place.
Recently, the area got 9 inches of rain. “It’s (the stream crossing) still standing,” Jan Allen marveled, noting that she has seen other bridges wash out after heavy rains. The plan also called for a watering trough with a twist. The Allen’s have two goldfish in the trough to help keep the algae growth down.
Even with the recent heavy rains, the trough is clear enough to see the huge goldfish swimming around. Conservation can, indeed, be beautiful! For more information on conservation planning and cost-share programs to help treat natural resource concerns, contact your local USDA-NRCS office or visit online at www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov.
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Reggie Faulk has land alongside Gator Creek in Laurens County. For several generations, the land had been conventionally tilled. Tobacco, peanuts and corn were the major crops grown on the land. Residue from these crops were harrowed each fall which resulted in severe erosion in many areas on his land. Faulk recognized that he needed to stop the erosion to save the soil and keep his land healthy and productive.
Faulk said that he had read about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in a farm magazine and decided to contact the Dublin NRCS office to see if he might be eligible for the conservation program. He met with District Conservationist Britt Parker and signed up for the program. Faulk was accepted into the EQIP and has never looked back. NRCS has developed conservation plans on all his farms that will protect his soils and increase production potential of his soil.
He is also participating in the Department of Natural Resource’s Bob White Quail Initiative and has seen an increase in the number of quail, as well as other non-game bird species, on his land. Faulk is now a fan of conservation and of no-till in particular. “No-till has helped me to eliminate the erosion that was occurring on my farm. I can now say that all my land is producing crops and is more productive than ever,” Faulk said.
For more information about the Bob White Quail Initiative, visit www.georgiawildlife.dnr.state.ga.us. Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to eligible farmers and ranchers to address soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. The program provides assistance to farmers and ranchers in complying with Federal, State, and tribal environmental laws, and encourages environmental enhancement.
The program is funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation. The purposes of the program are achieved through the implementation of a conservation plan which includes structural, vegetative, and land management practices on eligible land. Two- to ten-year contracts are made with eligible producers.
Cost-share payments may be made to implement one or more eligible structural or vegetative practices, such as animal waste management facilities, terraces, filter strips, tree planting, and permanent wildlife habitat. Incentive payments can be made to implement one or more land management practices, such as residue management, upland wildlife habitat management, and grazing land management. For more information on conservation programs, visit www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov.
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Farming is a family tradition for Danny Hogan. Hogan Farms has been in the family now for four generations. Danny has been farming for over 40 years and is a third generation farmer. His son Richard has been in partnership with him since 1994. Danny Hogan and his son Richard are the farm operators.
Hogan Farms consists of 950 acres utilizing conservation tillage; they grow wheat, oats, peanuts, cotton, and soybeans. They also manage 40 acres of pasture land, 104 acres of hayland and 700 acres of timberland. Of the 700 acres of woodland, 119 acres are enrolled in the longleaf Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
Hogan Farms also raises Black Angus, Limousine and Belgian Blue Cows. In addition, Quarter and Paint Horses are raised for show and sell. When it comes to conservation Hogan believes in spreading the wealth. "We have tried to work closely with all of the agriculture agencies to stay current on the proper way of doing things, said Hogan."
Hogan learned about USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as a child growing up on the farm. “As a young boy, I remember my mother talking with the district conservationist about what she could do to conserve the natural resources of our farm. I didn’t realize then that she was concerned about “sustainability” of our farm. Some of her early efforts were to get a farm plan and then to sign up some of the marginal land into the old soil bank program.
Working with NRCS is just a given to me if I am going to be a landowner,” said Hogan. He is active in four different agriculture organizations; he is a member in the Laurens County Cattleman’s Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Laurens County Saddle Club, and he is chairman of Farm Bureau Equine Committee. In addition to hosting field and legislative tours to promote conservation practices, Hogan has implemented many conservation practices on his farm.
Practices include; as heavy use area protection, manure storage facility, irrigation water management, use exclusion, alternative water source, nutrient management, watering ramp, and riparian buffers. He has established a chemical storage facility and community nutrient management facility. Hogan has practiced conservation for years and is planning to do more conservation projects in the near future. "I try to do practices that are important to me and I hope are important to soil, water and conservation. It's something I've been doing for a number of years," he said.
His future plans include completion of Irrigation Pond, installing more use exclusion for protection of wetlands and streams, constructing three additional heavy use areas and replacing the old existing inefficient irrigation pivot system.
When it comes to conservation, Hogan is an excellent conservationist. He tries to practice conservation on every acre of his farm, “ said Britt Parker, district conservationist, for the NRCS. Hogan said that he has benefited from the application of the conservation treatments with “less erosion, improved wildlife habitat, higher crop yields and less water used.”
Some of the other programs used on the Hogan Farm are the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), Forestland Enhancement Program (FLEP), Forest Stewardship Program (FSP,) and the Southern Pine Beetle Initiative (SPB).
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