The Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District is pleased to announce our 2020 conservation award winners. These winners have gone above and beyond in their service to conservation in Greenville County.
Farmer of the Year – Eugene Roe
Mr. Eugene Roe owns and operates a 50-cow beef farm in the northern part of the county. He uses environmentally friendly practices such as cross-fencing, watering tanks and heavy-use areas that allow him to improve grazing efficiency through rotational grazing, which also improves soil health.
In his own words, Mr. Roe says: “I grew up on a cattle farm. I’ve always been around cows. I feel extremely lucky to have been raised on a farm because it teaches you so much about life. You learn at an early age about the circle of life watching livestock. Farming teaches you about responsibilities, such as making sure the animals are fed before yourself. Planting crops and watching them grow gives you a sense of pride. It is amazing feeling to know you are contributing to feeding the world. I love the farm. It is the perfect place to raise children. It gives you a good feeling knowing you are helping take care of the land and that you are able to pass it and all of life’s lessons to your children and grandchildren. I’m proud to say there is dirt under my fingernails. I love being a farmer.”
Urban Conservationist of the Year – Maranatha Farms
Maranatha Farms is a church-supported nonprofit community garden whose goal is to educate and provide organically grown vegetables to the surrounding Greenville community. A mission of making affordable healthy food accessible to their community is furthered by a community garden, an affordable CSA (community supported agriculture) subscription service, and lectures and tastings to teach about cooking delicious meals.
Maranatha Farms is supported by the Maranatha Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the project is spearheaded by farm manager Curtis Miller.
Educator of the Year – Greenville Library System
The Greenville County Library System has always been a place for our community to come together and learn. Since 2019, the Library has partnered with Greenville Soil and Water to distribute over 30,000 packets of veggie, herb and flower seeds through the Seed Library program.
On top of increasing local food production, the Library has helped provide education on backyard conservation practices, including preserving biodiversity and sustainably growing food. Their leadership in our community and willingness to partner with environmental organizations like ours has helped protect the natural resources that make Greenville County such a wonderful place to live.