2015 Tidewater SWCD Clean Water Farm Awards

The Clean Water Farm/Bay Friendly Award is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. This award is given to recognize and thank Virginia farmers who implement nutrient management plans and are exemplary in their protection of the state’s soil and water quality. These individuals are role models who encourage others’ stewardship. Farmers spend time, energy and hard-earned money carrying out conservation practices that benefit many people. They themselves benefit because nutrients, pesticides, and chemicals they invest in remain with the land where they’re most productive. The soil necessary to grow crops also stays put because of conservation planting techniques. When these potential pollutants are kept out of surface and ground waters, citizens benefit by having cleaner water for drinking, recreation, industry, wildlife and transportation. On a local level, each District can nominate one farmer per  river basin  to win a certificate of recognition signed by the governor and a sign to post at their farm for this award .  Above and beyond the local award, one farmer or farm from each of Virginia’s 10 major river basins is chosen for outstanding management that improves water quality. These 10 winners receive an additional award presented at a special recognition ceremony, one winner will then be chosen as a state winner.  

Congratulations Charles M. Foster of Fosters Farming

York River Basin Watershed Clean Water Farm Award Winner !

The Tidewater Soil and Water Conservation District proudly honors Charles M. Foster of Fosters Farming as the 2015 Clean Water Farm Award Winner for the York River Basin Watershed. Mr. Foster is assisted in the operation by his son and Dad.  The operation consists of an average of five acres of sweet corn, timber, and firewood business as well as the main activity which is four hundred acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and cover crops all (even cover crop) in a No Till rotation.  Mr. Foster is a big believer in having a living crop on all the acres he manages year around and in the fall either has all cover crop or a mix of cover and wheat for harvest.  He is currently in a three year multi species test of cover crops designed to scavenge from the previous crop and prepare the soil for the next crop.  Three farms that Mr. Foster operates are also under wildlife management practices.  On those farms he has planted 60 foot buffers around fields with four different mixtures of grasses and cover.  “It has brought back quail, rabbits, and also deer love it better than beans.  It also helps with soil erosion around fields.”  As a farmer, hunter, and conservationist he considers cover crops and the buffers as “a win win practice” for the wildlife and his crop production.


Pictured left to right  Daniel Rilee,Charles Foster,Carl Thiel-Goin