Jones honored as Top Woman in Agriculture

Four women have been named West Virginia “Women in Agriculture” honorees for 2015, according to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA). They were honored during a ceremony at the State Fair of West Virginia on Sunday, Aug. 16.
Induction is granted to those women who have made significant contributions to the establishment, development, advancement, or improvement of West Virginia agriculture, forestry, or specialty crops in the Mountain State.
“This program provides recognition for a very deserving group of people,” says Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “I extend my congratulations to this year’s new members. They have all demonstrated a lifetime of dedication to agriculture in West Virginia.”
This year’s inductees are Nicole Fansler of Mathias, Sherrie Hutchinson of Ripley, Margaret W. Woodworth of Burlington and Jennifer “Tootie” Hill Jones of Lewisburg.
Jones owns and manages Swift Level Farm and Swift Level Land and Cattle in Greenbrier County. She also keeps small herds of horses that she has been breeding for over 40 years, two of which have made two different Olympic three-day event teams. She is passionate about maintaining fertile soil, lush and abundant forages, and production of healthy, grass-fed steers.
Swift Level was the 2014 Greenbrier District Conservation Farm and was runner-up for the 2014 WV State Conservation Farm of the Year. Jones is active in several agriculture organizations including Greenbrier Valley Pasture Network, WV Food and Farm Coalition Meat Working Group, WVDA Rural Rehab Loan Committee, and Greenbrier Local Foods Initiative, among others.
“Women understand the rhythm and spontaneity of life,” says Jones. “They live that way due to teaching and caring for others. Love the land as deeply as those you love, respect nature for the force you cannot control, and learn to live in the rhythm. It will feed you, your families, and your communities in every way.”
Jones operates Swift Level with her two children.

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