"Following a farmer around for the day is exhausting work. The cows need to be milked, the organic chicken feed needs to be custom mixed, and there's a planning meeting for the Guilford County Soil and Water Conservation District. That's right. Even someone who chose an outdoorsy job has to go to meetings sometimes. Meet Reedy Fork farmer George Teague, chairman of the Guilford County Soil and Water Conservation District, an organization designed to protect and improve local soil and water. Currently, the staff is made up of five board positions, two appointed and three elected. North Carolina native and soil conservationist Hugh Hammond Bennett once said, ""If we take care of the land, it will take care of us."" His vision for productive lands and responsible stewardship eventually led to his founding of the Soil Conservation Service, a federal agency. That was in 1935, and today, NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services) offices all over the US work with landowners and communities to ensure healthy productive lands. In Guilford County specifically, the board's mission is to enhance the efforts of providing technical and informational assistance to help conserve the natural resources of Guilford County. So how's that done exactly? In recent years, the board has successfully introduced various conservation programs and services ranging from the Watershed Protection Program to school curriculums that teach the value of conservation. One example is the North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program (NCACSP), a voluntary program designed to encourage agricultural production using conservation measures that improve water quality. Specifically, the program awards incentive payments as well as cost sharing for successful conservation farming practices. Diverse topics brought to the meeting table range from zoning decisions to soil erosion to conservation poster contests for elementary school children. Thanks, George! Although chairman of a local conservation services board may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your local organic farmer, Guilford County residents are very fortunate that George Teague said ""yes."" Not only does he work hard to bring organic milk to your local supermarket, he works hard to conserve natural resources and make his global vision a reality. Thanks, George!

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