Over the past five years, New, who is a cattle and tobacco farmer, has developed several conservation practices. He has set aside 82 acres for rotational grazing to improve pastures, excluded livestock from 35 acres of woodland by installing fencing, developed a a one-spring and two-pond water system, and improved woodland on 10 acres by removing and thinning less desirable trees so that good quality timber can be produced. New has also been conscious of erosion of the farm and has treated each acre to prevent erosion, thus improving water quality.
To be eligible for the Master Conservationist Award, New had to have completed at least 90% of the planned conservation practices in his conservation plan developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Conservation District Board member Harry Goggin presented Lowell and Barbara Atwood and their daughter, Beth Atwood, with the annual Goggin Award. The Atwoods have worked with the local conservation district in helping educate and inform landowners about the importance of water quality in the operation of a cattle farm.
The Atwoods opened up their farm, which is located on the Peyton Creek Watershed, to the conservation district for field day. The field day included visits by numerous government agencies as well as local landowners.
"If any of you have ever had a field day at your farm, you know it involves a great deal of work and effort," said Goggin. "The Atwood family did an excellent job and are to be commended for this effort and their support of conservation farming and working to improve the water quality of the community."
The News and Atwoods garnered the awards for the adults in the community who practice conservation. The youth of the county were also recognized by the Conservation District, with awards presented in the school art and writing contests. The contests are held annually to raise awareness of the importance of conservation in protecting the land.
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A total of 892 art entries and 596 writing entries were entered in this year's conservation contests. The topic of this year's contests was "Kentucky Wildlife."
Schools represented in the competitions were Crab Orchard Elementary, Hustonville Elementary, McKinney Elementary, Stanford Elementary, Waynesburg Elementary, Lincoln County Middle School and Lincoln County High School.
The first-place county winner in the art contest this year was Dustin Jones of Stanford Elementary. Jones, 9, the son of Eric and Adriane Jones, is in the third grade at Stanford.
Second place went to seven-year-old Marie Rankin of Hustonville Elementary. Rankin, a second-grader at Hustonville, is the daughter of Ina Rankin.
Gared Watkins, a fourth-grade student at McKinney Elementary, was the third-place county winner. Watkins, 10, is the son of Mechel and Gary Watkins.
Lincoln County Middle School produced the overall winner in the county writing contest, with Sarah Lanham placing first. Lanham, 13, is an eighth-grade student at LCMS.
The second-place writing winner was Katie Shea. Shea, 15, the daughter of Sharon and Dennis Shea, is a sophomore at Lincoln County High School.
Third place in the writing contest went to Ronnie Sharp III. Sharp, 15, is the son of Paula and Ronnie Sharp II and is in the eighth-grade at LCMS.
The county art awards were presented by Dickie Cooper of Shield of Shelter Insurance and Miracle Car Wash and the writing awards were given out by Joye Hunt of PBK Bank. Each county winner received a cash award. As the overall winners, Jones and Lanham also received a certificate of merit.
School art and writing winners were also presented with awards. The first place winners received a trophy, a certificate of achievement and a t-shirt. Each of the second and third-place winners received a trophy and a t-shirt.