- Report Published -
|Annual Summary of the Clean Water Farm Award Program Recipients|
|Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|In 1986, Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources established the Clean Water Farm Awards Program. The program was established to provide special recognition to farmers who demonstrated a commitment to natural resource conservation through the implementation of best management practices and managed their lands. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Historic Resources (now the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation) was given lead responsibility for program development and administration.|
The Department relied upon Soil and Water Conservation Districts (Districts) to select worthy recipients within their communities. No limit was placed on the number of farms that could be recognized during a calendar year. Award recipients within the Chesapeake Bay watershed received an aluminum sign with the designation: "Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Award." Recipients in areas outside the Chesapeake Bay received signs with the designation: "Virginia Clean Water Farm Award." All recipients received a program certificate.
From the annual pool of award winners, Districts were encouraged to nominate an outstanding recipient for a special area award. These special awards were termed Governor’s Model Clean Water Farm Awards. Six awards were presented annually with selection of recipients resolved within the six areas of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD). Award winners received a sign and an engraved plaque. A special recognition event was scheduled during late fall, each year. In the early years of the program, recipients were recognized through a special presentation by the Governor. In the years that followed recipients received their awards at the annual meeting of the VASWCD. Beginning in 1993, the Department hosted a special recognition event at the State Capitol with presentation of the awards by the Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources.
From 1986 to June 1998, more than 600 farms across Virginia received recognition through the Clean Water Farm Award program. Districts were encouraged to maintain records of award recipients on file at their offices. During that same period, 66 farms were recognized as Governor’s Model Clean Water Farm Award recipients.