November 15, 2017 / Uncategorized / Jamie Tiralla

The Wayson Family of Hopewell Farms in Friendship, Maryland was named Conservationists of the Year by the Anne Arundel Soil Conservation District.

Members of the Wayson family, Dave and Carol Wayson, Donna Wayson and her husband Dr. Andrew Gergely, and Thomas Craig and Denny Wayson, received the honor at the AASCD’s annual banquet on October 26.

In addition to the AASCD award, the Wayson family was presented with a number of official citations including from Anne Arundel County Council Vice Chairman Jerry Walker, Maryland Delegate Seth Howard, Natural Resource Conservation Service Maryland State Conservationist Dr. Terron Hillsman, and Maryland Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Resource Conservation Hans Schmidt.

The AASCD has recognized a “Cooperator of the Year” for almost every year since 1956. In 2016, they changed the award to “Conservationist of the Year” to better represent the meaning of the honor.

“A Cooperator is a farmer or landowner who voluntarily agrees to implement best management practices on their land in cooperation with the Soil Conservation District,” said AASCD District Manager John Czajkowski.

“The ‘Conservationist of the Year’ is given to an individual or family who has gone above and beyond to work with us and manage natural resources,” Czajkowski said.

Hopewell Farm has been in the Wayson family since before the Civil War. It was formerly a tobacco farm and has since transitioned into new enterprises including a horse training and boarding facility, and pasture-based livestock operation with beef cattle, chickens, and other livestock.

The Wayson family have been AASCD Cooperators for more than a decade. They have implemented a number of best management practices on their farm including grazing management, heavy use areas, watering facilities, and cover crops. In the horse boarding operation, Donna Wayson has installed an extensive fencing system for the horses as well as water runoff controls on and around the barns and buildings.

Hopewell Farm was the 101st farm in Maryland to be certified through the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP).

“We want to congratulate the Wayson family on this achievement and thank them for working with the District to improve soil and water quality,” Czajkowski said.