Coweta's Stanford top conservationistFrom Staff Reports
The West Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District has named Coweta County’s David Stanford 2012 Conservationist of the Year.
Stanford is a fifth generation farmer in Coweta County, where he, his two sons and wife, Kim, manage approximately 100 beef cattle and eight dairy cattle, on approximately 125 acres. He supplies milk to the Maryland-Virginia Co-op.
Since assuming operation of the farm in 1989, Stanford has made notable changes like improving the quality of the soil and extending grazing areas to accommodate more cattle. Fences were built, re-seeding of fescue and Bermuda grass took place and he even started growing wheat and corn and cut hay.
Stanford participated in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service and installed a solid separator, allowing him to store, use and reuse water in underground tanks for his dairy operation.
In the future, he anticipates incorporating pest management practices and installing gutters on his barn to manage water run-off.
“Mr. Stanford has one of two dairies still left here in the county, and he’s a fairly young man,” said Valerie Pickard, district conservationist for the USDA-NRCS Service Center, based in Marietta. “With Coweta (County) being an emerging urban area, there are very few farmers still left who are actually true farmers. He’s very deserving of this award.”
Stanford is a graduate of East Coweta High School and a board member of the Coweta Board of Directors. He is also a member of Mt. Gilead United Methodist Church in Sharpsburg.
“We’ve had good times in this country for a long time and everybody knows these last few years have been a little tough,” said Stanford. “You might have had to do a little more than you want to do right now. We might back up a few years before we go forward. You might need to know how to smoke a ham or grow your own food. You never know, but you can remember how to do these things if you’ve been taught like I have. It’s good to know how to do something, so you can take care of yourself and your family.”