J.B. Turner of Madison County was recently recognized as the 2016 Small Farmer of the Year by the Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He received a plaque and clock commemorating the distinction at the Federation of Southern Cooperative’s 48th annual meeting in Epes, Alabama.
In an increasingly urbanized county, J.B. Turner is holding on to the roots of his home community of Harvest, Alabama, where he farms 152 acres. He grows vegetables, raises registered Angus and Hereford-Simmental cattle and produces hay.
“The land was entrusted to me,” Turner said. “I want to be a good steward of the land and leave it in better condition than when I acquired it.”
Turner has implemented NRCS and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) programs on his land since the 1980s, including installing a hoop house in 2010 and adopting Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) practices starting in 2005. CSP practices on his farm include pasture planting, improved water facilities, cross fencing, pipelines, nutrient management and heavy use areas.
“Mr. Turner is a very deserving recipient of the Alabama NRCS 2016 Small Farmer of the Year Award,” said Ben Malone, Alabama’s newly appointed state conservationist. “He is a stellar example of a committed conservationist, and his stewardship ideals help make our mission possible. We can’t do our job of helping people help the land in Alabama without dedicated partners who assist us on the front line.”
Turner is also active in numerous agricultural organizations. He is a member of the Madison County Farmers Federation, Madison County Cattleman’s Association, Alabama Ag and Industries Board, North Alabama Bull Evaluation Committee, Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association and minority adviser for the Farm Service Agency county committee.
He often hosts farm tours and field days and has participated in local educational programs including the SWCD Environmental Teacher Workshop.