HALL COUNTY SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
The Hall County Soil and Water Conservation District was formed on March 23, 1983. Prior to 1983, Hall County was part of the Upper Chattahoochee River Soil and Water Conservation District. Former District Chairman Rudolph Clark, Supervisor Tom Blackstock, and others foresaw the tremendous growth and changes ahead for Hall County. They believed a district representing just Hall County would be in a better position to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and changing county.
With Hall County progressing into a more urban setting, it is imperative that we maintain the agricultural resources that remain. It is the responsibility of the Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District to educate the community on agriculture and sustainable practices, while preserving the diverse utilization of landscape to enrich our soil and water systems.
Mike Haynes is a full-time farmer, owning a dairy and poultry farm in Hall County. His family has farmed in Hall County since the early 1900s, and his family’s dairy farm has been present since 1946. Mike has been a supervisor since Hall County became a single district in 1983.
Larry Nix has been a supervisor since Hall County became a single district in 1983. Larry has never missed a district meeting in all his years of service! Larry currently owns a beef and hay farm operation in Hall County, but he has owned a poultry farm in the past.
Gene Anderson grew up on a beef cattle and timber farm in East Georgia. He is a retired UGA Extension Agent/Coordinator for Hall County, and after retiring from his position as an agent, he began serving as a supervisor for Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District in 2002.
Jane Hemmer currently lives on a farm that has belonged to her family for 200 years. Among other pursuits, Jane and her husband John run a herd of 60 Belted Galloway cattle. With Jane’s son Lee in the lead, her family also raises Tamworth hogs.
Tommy Blackstock owns a farm in East Hall County. He farms poultry, cattle, and hay. Tommy is a third-generation supervisor, and he has served Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District since 2015.
Irenee Payne, District Program Assistant
Irenee grew up on a cattle farm in Blairsville, GA. She spent her childhood learning about native plant species from her family. While earning her B.S. in Biology from Young Harris College, she conducted her own research project on native, medicinal herbs, and she studied human impacts on the environment both at home and abroad. Working as a DPA allows her to educate others on how to find purpose behind even the smallest of species and how to respect and care for our invaluable natural resources.
In 2018, Hall County S&WCD began working with the Redbud Project Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society. Through this union, Hall County S&WCD has participated in native plant rescues, removing native plants from local sites that will be developed, and on July 21, 2018, Hall County S&WCD will be hosting a Native Medicinal Plant Guided Walk & Seminar at the Linwood Nature Preserve in Hall County.
Every May, Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District works with Hall County Extension and Hall County NRCS to participate in Ag Day at varying local schools in Hall County.
This year, Hall County S&WCD formed a partnership with HallGROWS as a part of Hall County Farm Bureau, and through this partnership, Hall County S&WCD has been out in school systems teaching on soil and water conservation. In May, Hall County S&WCD went to Sugarhill Elementary to teach third grade students watershed conservation.
In conjunction with the National Association of Conservation Districts’ yearly conservation theme, Hall County S&WCD holds poster contests for elementary school students to learn and participate in various aspects of conservation education, and this year, the theme was watersheds.
In October each year, Hall County S&WCD holds an annual meeting for the community to present on progress being made in agriculture and the Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Every April alongside Hall County Extension, Hall County S&WCD participates in an Ag Awards Breakfast to honor local farmers and partners in agriculture.
In April 2018, Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District Chairman Mike Haynes was inducted into the Hall County Hall of Fame for his contributions in agriculture.
Through the partnership formed with Hall County Farm Bureau, Hall County S&WCD assisted in the construction of a garden area at the local J.A. Walters YMCA for summer school and after school programs to utilize.
Hall County S&WCD agrees to sponsor, at minimum, five high school students from Hall County to attend the Natural Resources Conservation Workshop in Tifton, Georgia each year.
In 2018, Hall County S&WCD sponsored two local students to attend 4H Camp during the summer.
Hall County S&WCD has worked with the Blue Ridge Mountain Conservation District, assisting the neighboring district with demonstrations on water quality to students in North Georgia.
Hall County S&WCD works with the Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D to bring necessary farming equipment and seminars to Hall County. In 2018, both groups worked together to establish a high tunnel at Tadmore Elementary in Hall County. Later in the year, Hall County S&WCD, Hall County Extension, and Hall County Farm Bureau will be returning to the school to teach teachers and students how to utilize the high tunnel.
through Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D
Monthly Meeting Information
Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District meets on the second Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise stated, at 8:15 AM in the Conference Room of the Hall County Agricultural Service Center Building at 734 East Crescent Drive, Gainesville, GA 30501.
To access meeting minutes and other information, click below.