VA Grand Basin Awards
From the pool of Virginia Clean Water Farm Award recipients, up to 10 grand winners representing Virginia's major river basins are selected each year. Nominees are submitted by local SWCDs. Grand Basin Award winners must meet criteria of the Clean Water Farm Award and demonstrate exceptional conservation on the land and in managing operations. These award winners receive additional acknowledgement at a special recognition ceremony. In addition to the standard sign and certificate, these awards are presented for the following river basins: Big Sandy-Tennessee Rivers, Chowan River, Coastal, James River, New-Yadkin Rivers, Potomac River, Rappahannock River, Roanoke River, Shenandoah River and the York River. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/cwfa
2019 Grand Coastal Basin Award:
The 2019 Clean Water Farm Awardee, David Rew, was nominated by Eastern Shore SWCD for the 2019 VA Grand Coastal Basin Award. Mr. Rew won and was awarded at the VASWCD Annual Meeting on December 9, 2019 in Norfolk, VA. DCR Director, Clyde Cristman, presented the award.
From Left to right: VASWCD President Chip Jones, Bettina Ring- VA Secretary of Ag & Forestry, David Rew- 2019 Grand Coastal Basin Awardee; Matthew Strickler- VA Secretary of Natural Resources
From Left to right: Robin Rich-Coates- Eastern Shore SWCD Chair, David Rew- 2019 Grand Coastal Basin Awardee and his wife, Alice Rew
A native of Onley, Virginia, David Rew grew up helping his uncle on a 600-acre farm. In the 1980s, he took ownership of the farm and grew it into a 3,500 acre operation. Mr. Rew manages the entire acreage with conservation tillage methods. High levels of crop residue are left on fields, inlcuding wheat residue which he does not bale in order to maintain high biomass and nutrients in the straw. Each year, 700 acres of soybean, oats and barley cover are incorporated into his operation to add soil carbon, reduce nitrogen loss and prevent erosion. Mr. Rew participates regulary in state and federal conservation programs, which have helped result in a model-cleam water conservation farm. He recently planted 5 acres of pollinator habitat, and a portion of the area is being monitored as part of a Natural Resources Conservation Service study on plant salt resistance and tolerance. The Eastern Shore SWCD is proud to have Mr. Rew represent the Eastern Shore in winning the 2019 Grand Coastal Basin Award.