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Governor Perdue Announces Acceptance of Applications for 2007 Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Award

Tuesday, November 21, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that the Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Commission is now accepting applications for the 2007 Governor’s Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Award. The prestigious award honors Georgia farmers who use innovative practices to be good stewards of the environment in their farming practices. The award was created in 2006 by the environmental stewardship subcommittee of the Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Commission.

“As I learned from my father growing up on a farm in Middle Georgia, if you take care of the land, it will take care of you,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I was proud to honor Petty’s Dairy last year for its innovative environmental practices. I hope this award nomination process will help make others aware of the outstanding methods Georgia farmers are using protect and preserve our natural resources.”

The 2006 award winner, Petty’s Dairy, is operated by brothers Jimmy, Don and Jerry Petty, and their four sons. The dairy farm was started by their grandfather in 1915. The Petty brothers maintain 15 miles of river frontage on the Conasauga River in Murray County, protected by buffer strips on the dairy property. The Petty family put in place innovative conservation techniques, such as the use of recycled water and no-till crops. Ultimately, water tested after exiting the Petty farm is cleaner than the water entering it.

Applications for the 2007 Environmental Stewardship Award will be accepted from farmers in five regions of Georgia: northeast, northwest, central, southeast and southwest. Judging committees will be established for each district, led by a member of the Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Commission. The judging committee will be made of representatives from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, UGA Extension, Georgia Soil and Water Commission, Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Forestry Commission and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. From each of these regions a district winner will be chosen.

A state winner will be selected from the five district winners. The judging for the statewide winner will include site visits to the five regional farms, where the judging team will see firsthand the farmers’ environmentally friendly innovations and technologies. The Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Commission environmental subcommittee chairman, Rick Moss, will chair the state judging committee. The other members of the state judging committee will consist of members from the district committees.

Applications are due on January 12, 2007. District winners will be chosen by February 16 and the state nominees will be judged by March 1, 2007. During the kick-off celebration of National Agriculture Week in March 2007, Governor Perdue will announce the state winner.

Applications are available at Applications may also be requested by calling (229) 391-5162.

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