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Forsyth plays host to soil, water district meet
Farm WEB
Leonard Ridings, district chairman, greets guests during the Upper Chattahoochee River Soil & Water annual awards banquet Thursday. - photo by Autumn Vetter

At a glance

Here are the 2012 Farm Families of the Year by county:

• Forsyth — Warbington Farms

• Dawson — Riverbend Farm

• Habersham — Woodlawn Farm

• Lumpkin — Les Fuller Farm

• White — Steve Allen Farm

The 2012 Forsyth County Farm Family of the Year was honored Thursday night.

Warbington Farms in north Forsyth was recognized as one of five Farm Families of the Year during the Upper Chattahoochee River Soil & Water Conservation District’s annual meeting.

The event, which drew about 200 people, was held at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

Members from the district’s five counties — Forsyth, Dawson, Habersham, Lumpkin and White — are invited to attend the annual dinner meeting, which rotates among the counties.

Farm Families of the Year are recognized for practicing outstanding conservation techniques that preserve natural resources. One is named from each of the district’s five counties.

Warbington Farms has been a part of Forsyth County since 1968, when family members began farming beef cattle and commercial hen houses.

The family worked in egg production until 2010, when they converted their egg farm into a public agritourism business.

Today, Warbington Farms sells pick-your-own strawberries in the spring, various produce in the summer, pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees during the holiday season.

Leonard Ridings, district chairman, also highlighted some of the conservation district’s achievements during the past year at the dinner.

He said the organization has assisted more than 650 people and groups, as well as 17 governmental agencies.

In addition, the organization wrote more than 30 Farm Bill Program contracts totaling more nearly $450,000 and applied conservation practices on nearly 2,700 acres of grazing and forest land in north Georgia.

Gary Black, Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture, addressed the group about some improvements that have been made to the office in recent years, such as adding technology for field representatives to use.

He also encouraged audience members to be proud of being of farmers and to educate others about what they do.

“The general public loves farmers, but they’re not too sure about farming,” he said. “We’ve got to represent them as farmers and tell them about 21st century farming and that is so very important.”