MAHER, W.Va. – A Mingo County couple, whose farm was featured in an Williamson Daily News article in August of this year, have became the recepients of the first ever award Guyan Conservation District has given to a Mingo County farm.
Paul and Arlene Starr are well known throughout the community, the couple are familiar faces from May until October at the Farmer’s Market in Williamson. Arlene is often referred to as “the bee lady.”
On Saturday, November 19 the Starrs were recognized at a luncheon held at the Golden Corral in Huntington, W.Va.
Each year, one farm in the state receives the top honor after first winning at the County, District and Area levels. All finalists have demonstrated a commitment to conservation practices that safeguard resources like soil and water. A panel of judges tour each farm and rank them on implementation of those practices, in conjunction with other community-based activities.
The Starr’s farm was chosen for second place overall, from all the farms entered, they received one award for Mingo County Farm winner and another for district farm winner. The Guyan district covers Mingo, Logan, Wayne, Lincoln, Boone and Cabell counties.
The Starrs are the first and only agriculture winners of any kind in Mingo County, no one else has applied or participated, they are also the first in Mingo County to have a high tunnel. High tunnels are unheated, plastic-covered structures that provide an intermediate level of environmental protection and control compared to open field conditions and heated greenhouse to expand a farm’s growing season.
The Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) and the United States Department of Agricultural are partnered with the Guyan Conservation District to provide these programs.
Any Mingo County residents interested in obtaining more information about the programs offered through the Guyan Conservation District can contact Helen Stanley at 1-615-397-6651.
Kendra Mahon is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext 2278.