D. Frank Masters of Ronceverte was recognized by both the WV House and Senate during Agriculture & Conservation Day at the Legislature on Jan. 30. Masters received this honor for winning the title of 2018 West Virginia Conservation Farm of the Year.
Masters spoke about his operations and conservation practices at a Farm-to-Table Legislative Breakfast sponsored by the West Virginia Association of Conservation Districts and West Virginia Conservation Agency before being honored by Senate Resolution and a House Citation ceremony. Senator Stephen Baldwin and Delegate Jeff Campbell, both of Greenbrier County, made the respective introductions.
Masters was selected to compete in the contest by the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District, which represents Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas counties. He runs a small but impressive cow/calf operation. Even though he operates the farm by himself and has a full-time, off-farm job, he has voluntarily exceeded the minimum obligations of regulation and general agricultural practices to enhance and conserve natural resources. Agronomic BMPs implemented include prescribed (rotational) grazing, nutrient management, critical area planting, pasture division fencing, pond exclusion fencing, and pasture and hay planting (frost seeding). Lime and fertilizer have been applied according to results of soil testing to improve plant health and productivity. He has undergone an energy audit and is in the process of implementing the recommendations of that report and has installed a high tunnel to extend the growing season of specialty crops. He is also in the approval process for the Farmland Protection Program.
The WV Conservation Farm of the Year competition showcases the best examples of farms owned and operated by people who are dedicated to conservation. Cooperating farms in each county are nominated by their local conservation district and go on to compete at the county, district, area and state levels. Farms are judged on several topics such as resource management, conservation plan, best management practices, cooperator contribution and involvement in the community.
For more information on the Conservation Farm of the Year contest, contact the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District or your local conservation district.