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Soil and Water honors Tommy Jones with Conservation Stewardship Award

By Cindy Jo Ayers
The annual Gilchrist Soil and Water Conservation District appreciation dinner was held on Thursday, May 16, at the Otter Springs Lodge.
The coveted 2019 Stewardship award was presented to Thomas “Tommy” Jones of Trenton. Tommy and his wife of 29 years, Elaine, received the award. Jack Cook, Vice Chairperson said “Every year we try to recognize some of our farmers here in the county that implement Best Management Practices. Tonight we would like to recognize someone that has been working with new technology and innovation, new farming practices for a long time. He is a resident of Gilchrist County born and raised. A graduate from Trenton High School in 1968. He has farmed numerous crops including watermelon, corn, string beans, peanuts, tobacco, hay and also raises cattle.” Cook went on to praise Jones for being a mentor and a role model for young farmers. He said Jones shares his wealth of farming knowledge and gave good sound advice to young farmers.
Jones has served on the Soil and Water Conservation Board for over 20 years.
Several other awards were given including three presented by Burton Wilder, Environmental Specialist III who recognized several men with an Appreciation Award. Danny Maddox of Center Hill, Frank Markham of Romeo and James Sutton of Webster were all honored for their work advocating for Best Management Practices in their area. The Gilchrist Soil and Water Conservation serves a multitude of counties in the state including Sumter County.
Bell Middle School FFA land judging team and Trenton High School FFA land judging team were recognized for winning the local land judging competition back in February. This year’s land judging event was held in Levy County.
Braley Hines of Trenton FFA was honored for winning the local Soil and Water Speech contest. Laina Teague of Trenton FFA was recognized for winning the local and Area II Poster Contest.
The Board Members, including Jack Cook, Myles Langford, Jeff Reed, Tommy Jones and Chairperson Brett Crawford, all thanked Katrina Pace of the Gilchrist Soil and Water Conservation District staff for organizing the event and all that she does day to day at the local office.

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