Charles Davenport operates Davenport Farms Inc. near Pactolus, North Carolina with his brothers Lawrence and Paul. Their sons, which help operate the farm, represent the 5th generation of Davenports to work this farm. The farm has been in the family for over 120 years.
In 2007 they were selected as the North Carolina Conservation Farm Family of the Year by the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (NCASWCD). The Davenports have an excellent conservation farm that has both innovative and traditional practices. Even though this is a large farming operation, wildlife is given significant consideration.
Almost half of the farm's nearly 6,000 acres is in woodland with the rest used for row crops including cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat, peanuts, and tobacco.
The farm contains traditional practices like no-till and riparian buffers. Runoff from this farm runs directly into the Tar River, a river designated as a nutrient sensitive water's by the state of North Carolina. Besides the traditional practices the Davenports are also using more innovative practices like UGA evaporation pan to monitor irrigation application in order to conserve water, reduce runoff, and ensure adequate water for the crops. Davenport has also worked with NC State and Pitt County to construct a stormwater BMP adjacent to an elementary school. This constructed wetland provides both an educational venue for the students and filters runoff from the school grounds and parking lots.
The farm has had a forest management plan since 1978 and their woodlands are managed with practices like thinning and controlled burns.
The Davenports are a distributor for bio-diesel fuels and use it in all their tractors. They also recycle their motor oils, hydraulic oils, and chemical containers.
Wildlife management has been a big part of the Davenports conservation activities. The Davenports have installed a number of water control structures that have created a permanent wetland area and in the fall and winter are used to hold water on some of his crop fields. This provides excellent habitat for migratory birds along the Atlantic flyway. Wildlife plots are another way the Davenports provide food and cover for wildlife on the farm. They have planted specific species of oak for which turkeys are particularly fond of.
Charles Davenport is the vice-chairman of the Pitt Soil and Water Conservation District. He has participated in EQIP, EQIP-GSWC, the North Carolina Agriculture Cost-Share Program, and the US Fish and Wildlife Services Partners Program. He has had a conservation plan since 1983.
The Davenports have worked with many outside organizations including the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, and the North Carolina Wildlife Commission. Charles has been an officer and member in numerous commodity groups such as the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, Grain Growers Cooperative, and the North Carolina Tobacco Growers Association.