The Conservation Farm of the Year competition showcases the best examples of farms owned and operated by people who are dedicated to conservation.
Cooperating farms in each county are nominated by their local conservation district and go on to compete at the county, district, area and state levels. Farms are judged on several topics such as resource management, conservation plan, best management practices, cooperator contribution and involvement in the community.
To find out more about the West Virginia Conservation Farm of the Year contest please contact your local conservation district office.
Conservation Farm Award Rules, Regulations, and Evaluation
2017 Conservation Farm of the Year
Monroe County's Little Brown Cow Dairy named 'West Virginia Conservation Farm of the Year 2017'
Little Brown Cow Dairy in Hans Creek Valley near Greenville, Monroe County, was named the 2017 West Virginia Conservation Farm of the Year in October.
The organic, grass-based dairy farm is owned and operated by Aaron and Tara Helmick through The Organic Valley Co-Op.
The operation began in 2010 when the Helmicks obtained a 10-year lease on the former dairy operated by Wilbur and Irene Larew. Since then, they also have purchased a 90-acre farm they now call home and rented three additional tracts, bringing the total acreage to about 425.
In 2017 the Helmicks milked about 150 jersey crossed cows, and raised about 45 replacement heifers and 10-15 bulls.
By paying close attention to grass management, the Helmicks only feed about six pounds of purchased grain per cow per day through the milking season. They produce 80 percent of the total dry matter feed for the operation. Annual crops used include forage sorghum, sorghum sudan, oats, turnips, rye, radish, triticale and crimson clover.
The Helmicks received $1,000, a winners’ plaque for the farm and 200 hours use of a new John Deere tractor from Middletown Tractor Sales in Fairmont.
The two other finalists for 2017 Conservation Farm of the Year were Family Roots Farm outside Wellsburg in Brooke County, which is owned by Fred and Cathy Hervey and operated by their son-in-law and daughter, Charlie and Britney Hervey-Farris; and the Carr Family Farm, owned and operated by Lois and Roy Carr in the scenic Seneca Rocks area of Pendleton County.