Lee and Hanover County couples honored for environmental practices

Adam and Holly Dean of Lee County and C.J. and Jessica Isbell of Hanover County are the winners of this year’s Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Environmental Stewardship Award.

They were honored July 28 at the VFBF Young Farmers Summer in Lynchburg. The award recognizes the efforts of young producers who work to protect natural resources.

The Deans farm as a second full-time job. Adam Dean is a high school teacher and partners with his father on their cattle farm. The Deans created new grazing plans that not only protect the environment but also reduce the time spent chasing and checking cattle. They were featured by the Daniel Boone Soil and Water Conservation District during a fall pasture walk.

The Isbells and C.J.’s father work on his grandfather’s farm. Together, they reclaimed the family farm by establishing a new grass-fed cattle, pork and chicken operation on land that previously was rented to local grain farmers. With help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the farm has become a showplace for environmental stewardship practices.

The Deans and the Isbells will receive $500 and commemorative plaques from Bayer CropScience, as well as outdoor signs recognizing them for good environmental stewardship to display at their farm entrances. They also will receive travel packages to the 2012 VFBF Annual Convention in Chantilly.

With more than 150,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply.

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