Eric Walker and his wife, Beth, of Benson, have been recognized as the Johnston Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2016 River Friendly Farmer. The award recognizes those individuals who take extra steps to manage the resources on their land to protect water quality.
The Walkers enrolled their farm in the Conservation Reserve Program to enhance wildlife habitat and prevent soil erosion. They converted some of the conventional row cropping system on their farm into long leaf pines to establish wildlife habitat and prevent soil erosion.
In addition, they converted the rest of their farm into native wild grasses and legumes to enhance wildlife populations of song birds, quail, rabbits, deer and wild turkey. This planting is one of the best examples of native grass stands in the county and has proven to increase the number of birds and wildlife on their farm.
The Walkers are pleased that their efforts in conservation have proven beneficial for both soil health, wildlife habitat and water quality.