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Sam Correll retires as soil supervisor

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
WOODLEAF ó After close to 25 years, Woodleaf farmer Sam Correll has retired from his supervisor’s position with the Rowan County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Correll is a past chairman of the county supervisors and past area chairman for 12 counties.
He said Monday he is just trying to slow down and “not be involved in so many meetings.”
Correll’s departure means the Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors will have to choose a replacement to fill out his term. The board began taking applications this week and will accept nominees through June 1.
The supervisors hope to appoint a replacement by July 1.
Rowan has five soil and water supervisors. Three of those positions are elected, and two are appointed.
Ben Knox has moved into the appointed position vacated by Correll. Two supervisors will be elected in 2010, and one spot will be up for election in 2012.
The four remaining supervisors are Knox (appointed), Jim Summers (appointed), Bruce Miller (elected) and Frank Small (elected).
Chris Sloop, a native of southern Rowan County, serves as the new district soil conservationist.
The Rowan office is located in the county agricultural building at 2727 Old Concord Road, Suite C. Sloop took the place of Dane Hobbs about three months ago.
A supervisor must attend monthly meetings (every third Thursday), area meetings in the spring and fall and an annual meeting in January. New supervisors also attend a training course at the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill.
Correll has seen a lot of changes in farming and its relation to the soil during his time as a supervisor, but probably the biggest improvement has been most farmers’ move to no-till farming.
“I’d call it never-till,” fellow Supervisor Knox said.
Correll Farms is working three tracts of land, for example, that haven’t been tilled since 1989.
Sam Correll thinks the emphasis on no-till farming has led to cleaner streams. But he fears growing urbanization has negated some of those improvements by compromising stream banks and fostering erosion.
Through the years, Correll said, he also has witnessed a transition to fewer but larger farms in Rowan County.

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