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Frank Rozier, Andy Hart earn ag honors
Pair named Bulloch County 2008 Conservationists of the Year
Conservationist for Web
Pictured above, left to right: Fred G. Blitch ( Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor), Andy Hart, Cindi Hart, Lenora Rozier, Frank Rozier, Mark Hynko ( Farmers & Merchants Bank), Charles Finch (Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor). - 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 its 57th Annual Awards Banquet to recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to soil and water conservation.

            In an effort to protect natural resources the district encourages landowners to use conservation tillage as a cropping system, to install terraces and grassed waterways to reduce soil erosion and to plant grass or trees on highly erosional land to help protect streams.

            Frank and Lenora Rozier have two daughters, Cindi and Rindi and four grandchildren. Rozier is the owner of Rozier Ford Lincoln Mercury in Statesboro.

            Andy Hart is married to the Rozier’s daughter Cindi. They have two children Drew and Clev. Hartis on the board of Bulloch Gin and also serves as manager.

            Rozier and Hart were selected at the banquet as Bulloch County 2008 Conservationists of the Year.

            Hart and Rozier operate Hickory Ridge Farm which is located in the southeast section of Bulloch County. The farm contains a little more than 3,000 acres. The farm has been in the Rozier family for approximately 90 years. Thirty years ago, Rozier’s father, Mr. F.C. Rozier began clearing, ditching and adding drain tile to this farm to allow for more cultivation. All ditching was done by eye and he took a farm that was almost 50 percent unusable to create suitable land for crop production with the proper drainage in place. 

            When Hart started farming Hickory Ridge Farm in 2004 he stepped up its conservation practices. With the help of the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s EQIP Program, Hart started identifying some of the poor tracts and converting them into pasture land for cows.

            While doing this he left buffer areas next to creeks and ditches to make sure that runoff in these areas was not a concern. He also identified a high ground location for his heavy use area and used filter cloth and grass buffers in this area to make sure any runoff in this area would cause as little impact on the environment as possible. 

            Hart also started a timber program on a 15-year cycle. Each year they cut 50 acres of timber and clear and replanted the 50 acres. Rozier and Hart have taken a very wet tract of what is knows as the “flat woods” in Bulloch County that has a major creek running through the property and turned it into an environmentally safe and very productive farm tract.

            Bulloch County supervisors Fred G. Blitch, Jr. and Charles Finch and District Conservationist Glyn Thrift said Hart and Rozier were excellent choices for the award.
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