Brown Creek Soil & Water Conservation District recently welcomed a group of six Ph.D. candidates and their professor from the Biological Engineering Department at North Carolina A&T University.
The students came to visit and learn about Anson’s deep history in conservation — being the first Soil & Water Conservation District in the nation, our conservation patriarch Hugh Hammond Bennett, and conservation agricultural practices.
The group was comprised of international students from Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The group’s goal was to learn about conservation in agriculture from its inceptive place and eventually take some of our practices back to their countries for implementation. Professor Manuel Reyes led the group of six and expressed the student’s appreciation and reverence for being in the home place of modern soil conservation.
The students made several stops during their trip through the county. They visited Brown Creek SWCD board member and past Conservation District Farm Family winner John Springer. Springer spoke to them about conservation practices such as no-till farming and expressed the impact that conservation practices have on protecting soil and water quality.
Springer also demonstrated various pieces of farm equipment that help minimize erosion during the planting process. He also talked with them about cropping sequences here in Anson County and how they differed from the students’ Southeast Asian countries.
The group was also welcomed by BJ Kiker and John Dunlap of the Anson County Historical Society. They showcased artifacts from Anson County native, and Father of Soil Conservation, Hugh Hammond Bennett. The group of students looked at Hugh Bennett’s personal possessions and listened to early history of the Nation’s First Soil and Water Conservation District, Brown Creek.
Before departing from Anson County, the NC A&T students visited the homeplace of Hugh Hammond Bennett for some time. The group discussed the implications of being one of few from other countries to set foot on the ground where Hugh Hammond Bennett had lived; the Father of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, after which all other districts worldwide had been modeled.