story by Teresa Griffin, Panola Soil & Water Conservation District Technician
The Panola Soil & Water Conservation District (PSWCD) along with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) were pleased to sponsor the 28th annual Agriculture and Forestry Appreciation Banquet. The annual event is held each year to recognize individuals in the county who are outstanding stewards of the land.
Pat Penturf, NRCS Soil Conservationist, recognized Gil and Becca Barker of G&B Farm, as the Conservation Ranchers of the Year. The Barker's operate a stocker operation utilizing a rotational grazing system of 320 acres, along with nutrient and water management, forage and wildlife management.
Texas Forest Service's Phillip Gates presented Charles Reynolds with the Outstanding Woodland Conservationist award. Charles maintains a 691 acre tree farm and actively works with the NRCS and Texas Forest Service.
Teresa Griffin, PSWCD District Technician, presented the Outstanding Woman in Agriculture to Mrs. Deb Holland. Deb volunteers with the 4-H program, is a Christian Motivational Speaker, and operates TH Cattle Company.
The next award presented was the Bill Whitaker Community Service to Agriculture, received by Nicky Parker. Nicky is a lifelong agriculture supporter serving on the Panola Jr Livestock Board, 4H Leader, and hosting educational field days at his ranch.
The final award presented was USDA Producer of the Year. Pat Penturf presented James Boyd with this distinguished award. James operates a commercial cow/calf herd on 345 acres and works with the NRCS office to makes sure he is utilizing best management practices.
Closing this year's banquet, Ross Brown, Resource Team Leader for Panola and Harrison Counties, spoke to the crowd of over 150 and discussed some of the programs available through the NRCS office.
Teresa Griffin, PSWCD Technician, presents the Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award.
Pat Penturf, NRCS Soil Conservationist, presents the Outstanding Conservation Rancher and USDA Producer of the Year Awards, as Ross Brown, RTL, looks on.