Local Tree Farm Named Farm of the Year

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Local Tree Farm Named Farm of the Year

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CROSS LANES, W.Va. – A 308-acre farm on Rich Creek of Elk River in Kanawha County recently was named the 2012 Kanawha County and Capitol Conservation District Farm of the Year. The farm’s owner, Glen "Buck" Chestnut, differs from most farmers who receive this distinction because he grows trees.

"Instead of raising cattle, fruits, vegetables or hay, Mr. Chestnut is growing trees, as well as providing excellent habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, especially whitetail deer and wild turkey," said Mark Metz, a West Virginia state forester who works closely with private forestland owners like Chestnut. "This honor and recognition as 2012 Farm of the Year is well deserved for all he has done to promote conservation over the last 16 years."

Chestnut began actively managing his property in 1996 when he had the first forest stewardship plan developed for it. Since that time, Chestnut has worked with government agencies, including the West Virginia Division of Forestry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, as well as private consulting foresters. These partnerships have resulted in the implementation of numerous practices to improve timber stands, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities on his property. Utilized practices include cull tree and grapevine removal, installation of wildlife food plots, border cutbacks, tree planting, invasive plant species control, clear cuts to benefit small wildlife, creation of wildlife waterholes and various methods of timber stand improvement work.

Chestnut’s farm is now in competition for regional champion, and, if named the winner of that contest, will be in contention for State Conservation Farm of the Year. 

Each year the West Virginia Conservation Agency and its 14 districts conduct the Conservation Farm Award program. This contest identifies and recognizes conservation cooperators doing outstanding jobs of implementing conservation plans and furthering conservation messages through their involvement in community-based activities. Chestnut is an active member of a variety of forestry and woodlands organizations, including the West Virginia Tree Farm Association, where he sits on the organization’s State Committee and the Woodland Owners Association of West Virginia where he serves on the Board of Directors. He also is a member of the National Woodland Owners Association and the West Virginia Forestry Association.




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Leslie Fitzwater, Public Information Specialist, 304-957-9342 or 304-541-8102, Leslie.C.Fitzwater@wv.gov

Mark Metz, NRCS Forester, 304-776-5256 ext. 111, Mark.Metz@wv.usda.gov