His gait may not be what it once was and he may have officially retired for the second, or third time - who's counting? But Quentin Williamson, Wayne County, is still a tremendous friend of soil conservation efforts in Indiana. His voice was a welcome sound when he called recently.
Williamson was lamenting the fact that he wasn't present at the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual banquet last month when Outstanding Conservation Farmers and Master Conservation Farmers were recognized. Indiana Prairie Farmer and the soil conservation partnership in Indiana sponsor the Master Farm Conservationist award.
Tentative plans have already been made to hold the contest again next year. Typically, soil and water conservation districts nominate someone who has devoted a lifetime to soil conservation, but for whatever reason, has not received the 'thank you' on the soil and water stage as they deserve.
If you know of someone that fits that category, contact your local soil and water conservation district and suggest they nominate that person for the award this spring. The awardees are selected during the summer by representatives of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, working with the soil conservation partners.
This is not the same award as the Master Farmer award. While soil conservation may be a positive point for the judges to consider in that contest, judges also looks at farming efficiency, attention to leadership activities locally and beyond, and those who play an active role in their children's lives, raising the next generation of farmers and Hoosier agribusiness folk. That award is co-sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University School of Agriculture. This year's ceremonies will be held July 30 at the Beck Ag Center near West Lafayette. The new state-of-the-art facility is located on the grounds of the Purdue Agronomy Research Center.
To nominate someone for that award, call 317-738-05765, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations must be postmarked by April 15 to be considered.
Meanwhile, don't expect Williamson to miss many more banquets. He's rarely missed one in his long career of working to support soil conservation, as a farmer, an innovator, and a county soil and water conservation employee in Wayne County. Family obligations kept him away this time, but he sends a hearty and heartfelt congratulations to the winners in both contests, many of whom he has visited personally on their farms.
Hope to see you there again next year, Quentin!