Georgia growers sharing conservation ideas

2 12 2008

By Sharon Dowdy | Southeast Farm Press

Vann and Tabatha Wooten work hard to grow crops in environmentally friendly ways that conserve the resources on their farm in Hazelhurst, Ga. They are part of a program to help other farmers do the same.

ON TOP Farms near Hazelhurst, Ga., Vann and Tabatha Wooten use environmentally-friendly practices whenever possible. Now, with the help of the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia — Ag track program, they plan to share what they are doing by offering tours of their farm. (Photo: Courtesy Adam Speir)

Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia — Ag Track works with growers like the Wootens to promote agricultural efficiency, said Adam Speir, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension ag pollution specialist.

“The program promotes the good work of Georgia farmers and producers who are using good environmental practices on their operations,” said Speir, who coordinates the program through the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The free, volunteer program is administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“To date, more than 160 businesses, towns, colleges and state agencies have reduced waste, water and energy usage by participating in the program,” Speir said.

DNR’s Pollution Prevention Assistance Division also helps participating partners improve recycling and find uses for by-products, he said.

The program has four levels: Champion, bronze, silver and gold. The entry level for each participant is based on their current conservation efforts and those slated for completion in the program.

The Wootens are at the silver level, which means that they are operating under a conservation plan.

Read on here.

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