Community Strongly Supports Agriculture in Baylor County
NRCS provides keynote presentation at local Ag Day
story by Quenna Terry
Residents in the small town of Seymour, Texas were proud to show their support for agriculture during the 23rd Annual Ag Appreciation Day and Health Fair in Baylor County.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Agronomist Nathan Haile from Weatherford was recognized as keynote speaker and presented an informative program on “soil health” principles.
Known by his co-workers as the “Soil Quality Evangelist,” Haile opened his presentation by thanking farmers and ranchers for their contributions of food and fiber in this country. He described the topic of his program as “Grassroots,” and explained soil as an important resource underneath our feet.
The main points of his presentation covered recycling nutrients in the soil, integrating livestock, managing forages, leaving crop residues to help build organic matter, and the value of diversity in cropping systems.
Haile used a unique comparison between soil health and human health to explain good agronomic practices and sustainability. He encouraged producers to think long-term in their planning efforts to improve the soil and he emphasized the importance of utilizing practices to lower inputs.
NRCS also contributed by setting up a display at the tradeshow to provide additional information about the benefits of soil health and other natural resources. NRCS District Conservationist Jeff Groves of Seymour and other NRCS personnel helped organize the event working through the Miller-Brazos Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).
Over 500 people attended the event at the Cliff Styles Activity Center sponsored by NRCS, Miller-Brazos Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension Service, Seymour Hospital, Baylor County, Seymour Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Seymour.
A community luncheon was provided by the local sponsors and served by Baylor County 4-H members. A total of 415 people attended the free lunch and presentation.
Annual conservation awards presented included: Henry Pickett for Conservation Rancher of the Year by the Farm Service Agency County Committee; Dean Myers for Conservation Farmer of the Year by Miller-Brazos SWCD; and Phillip Campbell with PC’s Paint and Body for Agri-business of the year by the Seymour Chamber of Commerce.
The Ag Day Committee also presented two $500 scholarships to 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) students Gage Williamson and Melanie Howell who worked at the event as part of their application process and will utilize the award for continuing education, majoring in agriculture.
Agriculture and health related service providers filled the community center offering anything from continuing education units (CEUs) for agricultural training to free blood testing.