The Cheatham County Soil Conservation District Board and Janice Weiss, District Secretary celebrated 68 years of Conservation for the county by hosting their Annual Field Day and Awards Luncheon on May 10th, 2012 at Dawson Farms in White Bluff, Tennessee the home of Phil & Beth Dawson. The field day started at 9:30am with David Shores, District Chairman giving the welcome, Phil Dawson then gave information on practices he had on his farm and how it was run. With about 70 landowners in attendance, they then were given information on Calf Management & new updates by Ronnie Barron, UT Extension, Conservation Practices available through NRCS & TDA by Wynne Luter, District Conservationist for Cheatham County, How to Utilize your Whole Farm by Clint Borum, TWRA, Tn Ag Enhancement Programs by Katie Holder,TDA and a demonstration was given with the Rainfall Simulator by Greg Brann, NRCS.
After lunch, the Cheatham County Soil Conservation District presented the 2011 Conservation Farmer of the Year Award to Charles Bidwell of Pleasant View, Tennessee for all the conservation practices he has put in place on his farm. Charles began farming at a very early age on his family farm and has always been proud to be a farmer. He has raised tobacco, wheat, corn, and later they had a dairy business along with layer hens. He became the owner of a Century Farm which had been in his family since 1849, then later through his wife inherited another 1879 Century Farm. Now they lease out their tobacco fields but have continued to raise beef cattle and hay on both farms. Charles has received funding through Ag Enhancement for hay sheds, corals, and is a member of the Master Beef Association. Through TDA & NRCS he has installed several watering systems on both farms, high tensile cross fence, and is currently working on a grass waterway & grade structure for a large gully running through one of his farms. He received a plaque and sign to be displayed on his farm.
There was also a Award of Appreciation (plaque) given to Jim Nance, TDA Program Director for the continued assistance throughout the years he has provided to Cheatham County on conservation as well as all the other counties in the state.