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Ogeechee District names top conservationist
Bullochs Thomas Joyner earns honor
W Bulloch COY 2009
From left to right in the picture are: Fred Blitch, Jr., Tom Joyner, Beth Joyner, Gary Johnson and Charles Finch. - photo by Special
     The Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District, which is made up of Bulloch, Candler, Effingham, Evans, Screven and Tattnall Counties, hosted the 58th Annual Awards Banquet to recognize an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to soil and water conservation.
     This year's recipient for Bulloch County is Thomas Joyner. He is married to Beth Joyner and they have one daughter and son in law, Rhoda and Jeremy Sword and two foster daughters (Abby and April Blocker).
     Joyner is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has worked for the National Cotton Council, Thompson Haywood Chemical Company, Gold Kist and has just retired after 25 years with the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Statesboro where he serves as a deacon. Joyner is also a member of the Ogeechee River Cattlemen's Association and the Farm Bureau.
     While working for the Conservation Commission Joyner worked with six Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Southeast Georgia.
     While with the Conservation Commission he helped the Ogeechee River District hold numerous meetings and programs that helped the landowners do a better job of soil and water conservation. These meetings consisted of programs on Forestry, Conservation Tillage, Cattle Demonstrations, Irrigation Conservation, Pond Building and Management Demonstrations. Joyner's work with the commission required he assist counties and cities to improve their Erosion and Sediment Control Programs. He also helped teach numerous Erosion and Sediment Control Classes in the District.
     J&P Farms is jointly owned by the Joyner and Proctor Families. The farm
is a third generation farm and is managed to promote conservation by using strip tillage on some of the fields. The farms unproductive fields are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. Terraces have been installed and maintained on the farm. Tom has also installed water quality practices on the farm through funds received from the NRCS EQIP Program. The wild life on the farm is enhanced by controlled burning. Part of the farm is enrolled in the Bob White Quail Program through the State DNR Program.
     Joyner said he would like to leave the farm in better shape than when he got it. This requires working with the Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District, the Georgia State Conservation Commission, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and others.