norwood2One of Henry County’s very own farmers earned a prestigious national award this past Spring.  Grant Norwood, a fifth-generation farmer in Mansfield, was the recipient of the American Soybean Association 2018 Regional Conservation Legacy Award.  The Conservation Legacy Award recognizes farmers who are committed to protecting the soil, water, and air through outstanding environmental and conservation practices.  There are only three farmers chosen from three different regions in the U.S. each year and Norwood was chosen as the Southern Regional winner. 

Conservation practices have always been played an important role in the Norwood family, dating back to the beginning of Norwood Farms.  Grant still farms the same land his great-great-grandfather began farming in 1894 in the Pleasant Hill community.  Grant learned about conservation practices at an early age from his father, Don Norwood, who passed down the importance of conservation in managing the 3,000-acre family farm.  Don remains a partner and active participant in the family operation and continues to be an advocate for soil stewardship.   The Norwood family has implemented hundreds of conservation management practices over the years including water and sediment basins, grade control structures, grassed waterways, cover crops, and, the latest practice, pollinator and wildlife habitats.  Grant is proud to say that the farm is 100% no-till in its soybeans, corn, and wheat rotation. 

Grant knows that being a good steward of the soil is what has allowed his family to continue to farm the same land for over a century and will continue to carry on for generations to come. “Our family’s focus on sustainability from one generation to the next is how we have been able to continue to farm the same land for five generations,” Grant added. He further explained that it may take some time to see the benefits of certain conservation practices, but they will pay back over time. “You have to have a long-term mindset, but the economic benefits will carry over to benefit future generations,” he said (American Soybean Association, March 2018)  Click here to read more about Grant's Conservation Legacy Award and viddeo interviews on each of the winning operations are available here.