Justin Castleberry is the third generation on his farm, and the third to be named farm family of the year.
Castleberry and his family were named Forsyth County Farm Family of the Year by the Upper Chattahoochee Soil and Water Conservation District. Castleberry is the third generation of his family to win the award.
“We were excited to hear. My family won the award whenever I was younger and my grandparents had received it years and years ago. It’s an honor to be named family of the year.” Castleberry said. “I’m the third generation on our farm. My grandfather started it … I think they built the first chicken houses in the early ‘50s.”
On his farms he raises broiler chickens and beef cows and grows hay, soybeans and wheat, as well as running an agriculture trucking company that has four fulltime employees. Although he still does traditional farming, Castleberry said it was changing.
“It’s definitely changing. It’s a lot more advanced, a lot more new technologies coming along. “It makes it better, you know if saves us money for sure. When we’re spraying and planting now, we use GPS guidance that keeps us from overlapping and make sure that we’re putting the right amount of chemicals out and not wasting chemicals.”
Castleberry said that the changes in farming also helps him conserve time and resources.
“Both soybeans and alfalfa, we’re using Roundup Ready technology, where after the crop comes up we can spray it with Roundup and kills all the weeds, but doesn’t hurt the plant,” Castleberry said. “It makes it a lot easier and saves a lot of time and conserves a lot of fuel.”
The Conservation District also consists of Dawson, Habersham, Lumpkin and White counties, and Castleberry will be recognized at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.
“It’s an annual thing that we have every year for our affiliate members through the district,” said spokesperson Vivian Tanner. “We select a conservation farm family that has done the best management practices on their farm for the year, and then they’re presented an award at the banquet.”