by Madison V. Fisler
Nov. 8, 2013. Last night, the Boone United Methodist Church hosted the 58th annual Farm-City Banquet, where awards were given out to various recipients who were nominated by the public for having a positive impact on the community, youth and agriculture in the area. The purpose of the awards is to recognize individuals for their contributions to our community and agriculture in Watauga County.
The 2013 Tuckwiller Award for Community Development was presented in honor of the late Charles Church. Charles Church, a well known and well loved farmer in Valle Crucis, passed away in April at the age of 67.
Church was crucial in the formation of New River Organic Growers and was one of the first farmers in Watauga County to receive organic certification.
“Not only was he an outstanding farmer, he was a true innovator and the theme for this year is heritage of innovation,” said Jim Hamilton, county extension director.
“Charles was known throughout the region as being an innovator in agriculture, he was the first to try large scale broccoli farming. The best thing about Charles was that he would talk to anyone who was willing to listen. He served as a mentor to lost of young farmers. It takes a lot for someone to step up and try something new and take that risk as any kind of agriculture is risky.”
This is the first time that this award has been awarded posthumously.
The other recipients and their respective awards are as follows:
- Christmas Tree Farmer of the Year Award: Gary Brown
- Cattleman of the Year Award: Greg Miller
- Beekeeper of the Year Award: Lyn Soeder
- Agri-Tourism Award: Lee Rankin
- Special Service Award: Presented to Betty Church in honor of Charles Church
- Food and Farm Stewardship Award (Newly renamed the Charles Church Food and Farm Stewardship Award): Matt Cooper
- Woman in Agriculture Award: Amy Galloway
- Agriculture in Arts Award: For the third year – Marsha Holmes
- Community Volunteer Award: Dick Hearn
- Youth in Agriculture Award: Darius Jones
- Conservation Farm Family of the Year: Fred Yates