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Hamlett Recognized For Conservation Efforts

Lindy Hamlett was recognized for his commitment to wise use of natural resources at the Prince Edward County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and Banquet held Oct. 6 in the Firemen's Sports Arena. Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District (Piedmont SWCD) director Dr. Wilkie Chaffin presented Hamlett with the 2011 Conservation Farmer Award in appreciation of Hamlett's comprehensive commitment to natural resource conservation.

Lindy Hamlett goes way back in Prince Edward County, and so does his involvement with conservation. Lindy is completing his 44th year of involvement with the Farm Service Agency County Committee, serving as the chairman of the committee for 13 years, and served over 30 years on the Farm Bureau Board. While working the family farm, Lindy also worked 20 years part-time for Soil Conservation Service, now known as Natural Resource Conservation Service, helping create and maintain an elaborate system of dams on Bush River and Buffalo Creek. Lindy has worked with the Piedmont SWCD since 1984 as their Equipment Program Manager.

Hamlett lives with his wife Wanda on the farm where he was born and where his father grew tobacco and other row crops with the help of Lindy and his brothers. Lindy and his son Curtis Hamlett currently manage a cow/calf operation that includes considerable hay, pasture and woodland acreage.

Hamlett's most notable conservation accomplishments were completed in 2010 with the installation of over 11,282 feet of streambank exclusion fencing. This project fences cattle out of the streams and ponds and creates a comprehensive rotational grazing system for the farm, making it possible to move livestock from pasture to pasture according to forage growth and feed requirements. This allows for pasture rest and re-growth, and a more even distribution of manure throughout the paddocks. Cattle have access to a clean, reliable water source in any of the six paddocks from troughs supplied by two wells.

The area between the stream exclusion fencing and the stream was planted in hardwood trees to create a buffer that further enhances water quality. Over six acres of streamside buffer were planted, improving food and cover for wildlife and enhancing recharge of the aquifer.

Hamlett is committed to a progressive Farm Conservation Plan and is working hard to realize a plan that will eventually include the total resources on the farm. He seeks out partnerships with natural resource professionals to make sure he is farming for both profit and conservation.