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CB Virtual Diary

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There are many success stories in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and each one begins with a plan. Our stories involve a conservation plan that outlines a suite of practices recommended to improve soil and water quality over a period of years. Virginia NRCS has chosen four producers from across the state to share their conservation journey with us.

In these pages, you'll see the faces of farmers whose practices are helping to save the Bay. We invite you to follow these producers through the conservation planning process and chart our progress in changing landscapes and lives.

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Peyton and Myra Yancey
Peyton and Myra Yancey
Introduced 10/31/11

When Peyton and Myra Yancey first began working with NRCS, they weren't just being good stewards of their scenic Shenandoah Valley farmland. They were preserving a family legacy. Peyton can trace the history of the property back through four generations of his relatives to a land grant from the King of England. Though his family was careful not to overgraze the land, water quality began to degrade over the years with direct cattle access to the streams, pond and spring on the property.

The Yanceys developed a conservation plan to address these resource concerns and work began on April 5, 2011, as partners gathered to stake out a forested buffer and confer on project particulars. By May 11, 2012, the transformation of their land was almost complete. Cross fencing, a roof runoff management system, and a new stream crossing are just a few of the practices now helping to improve their soil and water quality. The Yanceys couldn't be more pleased with the results.

“Cattle used to cross the creek to get to the barn and it was tough to get them inside,” says Peyton.  “Now, we have an ideal setup for grazing cattle. The fruits of our labor will benefit anyone who works this land in the future.”

“I think the barn is the most amazing transformation,” says Myra. “Water used to pour out of the flexible culverts. Now, the water is being controlled and is feeding into the creek. The area that used to have bare dirt has been reseeded.”

Read the next chapter of their story
View their photo gallery: Gallery 1 (Landowners and Partners), Gallery 2 (Resource Concerns), Gallery 3 (Next Steps)

Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Diary Producers

Phillip Nelson, Appomattox Melody and Butch Snow, Rockbridge The Atkinson Family, Accomack
Phillip Nelson
Introduced 11/7/11
Melody Tennant & Butch Snow
Introduced 11/14/11
Kerri and Will Atkinson with
daughters Abby and Peyton

Introduced 11/21/11
Read his story
View his photo gallery
Read their story
View their photo gallery
Read their story
View their photo gallery