Land stewards to be recognized at Soil and Water banquet

by Becky Whisenant

“No civilization has outlived the usefulness of its soils. When the soil is destroyed, the nation is gone,“ said philanthropist Lloyd Noble who established the Noble Research Institute in Oklahoma.
Or, on a more personal level, the next time you take a bite, think about where that food came from.

As the pressing issue of sustainable agriculture gains prominence, the Cherokee County Soil & Water Conservation District continues to work with farmers, ranchers, land managers and students to become better guardians of the soil.
In celebration of national Stewardship Week, the 62nd annual awards banquet will be held May 4 in Jacksonville and will feature State Representative Travis Clardy, district 11, as keynote speaker.
This year’s winners of the 2018 conservation poster contest will be recognized at the banquet.
Angelina Lindsey of Alto Elementary received first place; Dafne Lara of Joe Wright Elementary, Jacksonville, placed second; Skylar Watkins of Alto Elementary received third place; and Aubree Warren of Nichols Intermediate placed fourth.
Honorable Mention entries will also be honored: Cristina Smith and Campbell Nocilla of West Side Elementary, Jacksonville, Bradlee Gould of Alto Elementary and Foster Todd of East Side Elementary, Jacksonville.
The theme of the contest was “Healthy Soils are Full of Life.”
FFA students who have participated in conservation contests and individuals who have demonstrated wise stewardship principles in use of natural resources, will also be honored.

The awards banquet is part of the celebration of national Stewardship Week which extends from the last Sunday in April, to the first Sunday in May.
Stewardship Week is organized by the National Association of Conservation Districts to help remind us all of the power each person has to conserve natural resources.

Across the nation, soil conservation districts were established after a sustained drought resulting in the devastating Dust Bowl of the 1930s. It became obvious to everyone in the United States that the issue of the conservation of soil, upon which our survival depends, had to be addressed on a national scale.
There are a total of 3,000 soil and water conservation districts in the U.S., 216 of which are in Texas. Cherokee County district #427 was chartered in 1942.

The board of directors of the Cherokee County Soil & Water Conservation District #427 are Chairman Roland Adams, Jacksonville, zone 2; Vice Chairman Preston Lindsey, Troup, zone 1; Secretary/Treasurer John Griffith, Alto, zone 3; member Aaron Low, Alto, zone 5; and member Justin Underwood, New Summerfield, zone 4.
The banquet will be held at the Norman Activity Center in Jacksonville at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is $10 and the public is invited. The district office is located at 4361 Loop 343 West in Rusk.

For more information, call (903) 683-4234.