The Greenbrier Valley Conservation District is pleased to recognize Rockin-N-Farm as an Outstanding Grassland Farm for 2018.
Owned by Richard and Pam Nichols, Rock-N-Hill Farm is located near Union in Monroe County. The Nichols’ two children, Alex and Ashley, are also very active on the farm.
The family owns and operates their 540-acre farm, which contains 75 acres of hay and 38 acres of corn. The Nichols also rent 50 acres of hay land. They graze upward of 800 stockers per year and normally winter about 400. Rick’s father, Dick, purchased the original farm in 1969. Since this time the farm has grown through the purchase of adjacent farms.
Through aggressive efforts to advance his grazing operation, Rick is able to plan and resource best management practices. Since 2015, he has applied his knowledge to increase grass production through rotational grazing, allowing his now smaller pastures to recover much faster. Utilizing minimal technical assistance, Rick was able to create his vision for the farm and methodically address one resource concern in one area at a time.
The Nichols’ active conservation practices focus on maintaining their grasslands, and they utilize fencing and watering systems to further increase grass production and reduce erosion. They have emplaced many best management practices through NRCS and the Agricultural Enhancement program.
The Nichols have focused on improving and developing the farm’s pastures. Through participation in the GVCD Agricultural Enhancement program, Rick has limed much of the farm and completed various fence and water projects. Through NRCS programs, Rick added a solar water pump to one of his ponds to increase the clean water available to his animals while reducing runoff and pollution. He is also currently constructing additional fencing and troughs through NRCS.
The GVCD would like to say thank you to the Nichols family for their conservation efforts.
To view a video tribute to the farm, you can visit the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District’s Facebook page.