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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.

2022 Grand Coastal Basin Award:

The 2022 Clean Water Farm Awardee, Jim Evans, was nominated by Eastern Shore SWCD for the 2022 VA Grand Coastal Basin Award.  Mr. Evans won and ESSWCD Chair, Nick Thomas, accepted the award on Mr. Evans behalf at the VASWCD Annual Meeting on December 5, 2022 in Roanoke, VA.  Virginia's Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry, Matthew Lohr (right), and Secretary of Natural & Historic Resources, Travis Voyles (left), presented the award. 
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Governor Youngkin's article about the 2022 Grand Basin Awardees: 

Eastern Shore Post's write-up about Mr. Evans:

The Delmarva Farmer-Grand Basin Winners Article

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From Left to right: ESSWCD Chair- Nick Thomas & Jim Evans- 2022 Grand Basin Awardee
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From Left to right: Jim Evans- 2022 Grand Coastal Basin Awardee, wife-Cheryl, daughter-Claire, & son-Jake
Accomack County native Jim Evans farmed evenings and weekends throughout a 20-year teaching career before building a large crop operation across land that had been farmed by three generations of his family. He primarily grows corn and soybeans on his 4,000-acre farm, and has partnered with another local producer to farm an additional 700 acres. His regimen of wheat and barley cover crops, along with minimal tillage, boosts soil health and reduces loss by maintaining the soil’s organic matter and biological activity. Evans maintains a nutrient management plan and uses precision, variable-rate nitrogen application equipment and low-drift spray nozzles to most effectively fertilize his cropland and curb runoff. He has also planted 2 acres of pollinator habitat to attract local insects and enrich the ecosystem for other wildlife. An advocate of agricultural conservation, Evans is devoted to improving the quality of his local farming environment for future generations. His daughter, Claire, is now following in his footsteps as she acquires the conservation farming skills that have made her father so successful.
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