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32nd Annual Conservation Field Day held in Sutton County

story by Jaime Tankersley

NRCS Soil Scientist, Amanda Bragg (right) explains the difference in soil types.For 32 years, the Sawyer family of Sonora, Texas have opened the ranch gates and allowed thousands of 6th grade students from Sutton and Edwards County to spend a day learning the value of our natural resources, and this year is no exception. Over 50 students attended the event that is organized and sponsored by the Edwards-Plateau Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Sutton Underground Water District, Texas AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Sawyer family were all part of this year’s presentations and group sessions.

The outdoor classroom consisted of - plant identification, soils, wind/water erosion prevention, wildlife management, and natural resources conservation hands-on activities.

Texas AgriLife Extension employee, Nick Garza (left) identifies native plants.This event is a trademark in youth education and stands as one of the longest running youth field days of its kind in the state. When students spend the day on the Sawyer Ranch, they leave with a better understanding of their impact on society and how to be responsible when it comes to preserving precious natural resources.

“We have a responsibility to educate the next generation; for some this is their only interaction with agriculture, and they will have a better understanding on where we obtain food and fiber,” said Bob Brockman, Edwards-Plateau SWCD director.

For more information about the NRCS and SWCD’s local efforts, contact them at the USDA Service Center located at 301 South Crockett Avenue, or call them at 325-387-2730.

Students make their own rain cloud during a demonstration from the National Weather Service.NRCS employee, Kendall Tidwell (left) explains the harm of soil/wind erosion.