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 Tommy Crittenden of Heart Seventeen Produce, Inc.

Chesapeake Bay Coastal Watershed Clean Water Farm Award Winner!

The Tidewater Soil and Water Conservation District proudly honors Tommy Crittenden of Heart Seventeen Produce, Inc. as the 2018 Chesapeake Bay Coastal Watershed Clean Water Farm Award Winner. Heart Seventeen Produce is a third-generation family farm located along the shores of the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay in Middlesex County. They specializes in Athena cantaloupes, green bell peppers, cucumbers, squash and zucchini.  All of the crops are grown in raised plastic beds and watered through the process of drip irrigation which places water in the root zone of a plant and not on the fruit itself. Within its 30 year history Heart Seventeen Produce has been one of the pioneers in developing the bin cantaloupe concept which is now widely accepted throughout the industry. Furthermore, they are a leader and advocate in implementing food safety protocols. The farm includes over 130 acres of agriculture production and a managed woodland habitat.Tommy operates the farm using a Nutrient Management Plan, conservation practices, and advanced innovative growing techniques.

Pictured left to right: Chairman Daniel Rilee, Margaret Eads and Warren Gaines accepting the award for Tommy Crittenden-Heart Seventeen Produce