A Brooklet farmer has been named Bulloch County's 2014 Conservationist of the Year by the bankers and supervisors of the Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District.
Greg Sikes was honored during the 64th Annual Conservationist of the Year banquet last week at Beaver Creek Plantation in Twin City.
Sikes began his farming career at age 13. Well-known Bulloch County farmers, such as Chuck Lee, Jackie Brannen and Phil Denmark, gave Sikes his start in row crop farming. During his career, he has worked for Blanchard Equipment as a salesman and, most recently, manager at JB Anderson while building his own business.
Sikes now owns and operates Greg Sikes LLC. This entity farms more than 6,100 acres between row crop and share crop operations. He also has a substantial custom hire business for area farmers. Greg Sikes LLC operates a trucking company with module trucks for cotton and semitrailers that haul fertilizer, chemicals and commodities for himself and other farmers. Along with his farming operation, he is the president and partner of Hagin and Olliff Oil Company.
Sikes is the son of Penny T. Sikes and the late Joel Sikes of Brooklet. Early on, Greg Sikes' parents instilled in him the value of protecting and caring for the land on which he works and lives. They encouraged his love for farming. He is married to Jennifer Sikes, and they have two children, Maddie, 11, and Landon, 10.
Dedicated to the lifestyle of farming, Sikes constantly tries to better the industry. He is active on the Bulloch County FSA Committee, the chairman of the board of Venture Cotton Cooperative and a shareholder in Bulloch Gin. Sikes is always there to offer his services to improve research, including providing test plots for Deltapine and several test plots each year for the University of Georgia Extension service.
Running an operation at this level takes a great deal of dedication, precision, efficiency and care for the land. Sikes has proven himself to be one of the best operators in the industry, as demonstrated by the conservationist award.
Georgia's 40 soil and water conservation districts are led by 370 elected and appointed district supervisors. Along with Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission state staff, these local community leaders work in voluntary cooperation with private landowners to encourage the conservation of the state's natural resources, which are the basis of economic growth and prosperity. Aided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, this effort ensures productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
In addition to Sikes representing Bulloch County, Conservation of the Year awards also were given to Jimmy Sands (Evans County), Ralph Graham Land Clearing (Effingham County), Harry Sheppard of W.W. Evans Farm (Screven County), William J. Holton (Tattnall County) and Matt McGowan (Candler County).