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Corrells named Outstanding Conservation Farm Family of the year

By Kelli Isenhour 

Education Coordinator, Rowan County Soil and water Conservation District

The first time I visited the Correll Farm, we were greeted by a smiling David Correll and his wife, Cheryl, who are the primary managers of the farm.

It was a warm spring day — peaceful with a scattering of barns and greenhouses, row crops, cows grazing in the distance, and the faint sound of chickens from a yet undetermined location. 

David’s father, Sam, and uncle, Eubert, the fourth generation of Correll farmers, were also there to greet us. Many people stop by the farm to pick up a box of produce, but we were there for a different reason. 

The Rowan Soil and Water Conservation District nominated the Corrells as its Outstanding Conservation Farm Family of the year. We were visiting the farm to tour it along with the appointed competition judges. The competition is hosted by the N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and sponsored by N.C. Grange. Families who are nominated not only use conservation farming methods, they are also community leaders, and actively involved in conservation education. 

The judges were very impressed, and the Corrells were selected as the Mountain Region winners which put them in the running for the statewide competition. For the second round of judging, Cheryl had a beautiful display of the produce they grow, awards they have received, and pictures of the family and farm. 

David led a thorough tour of the farm, where he pointed out some of their conservation farming practices such as no-till farming, cover crops, grassed waterways and field borders. They have used many of these practices since the farm’s first conservation plan was written in the early 1960s.

The Correll’s’ children, Talton and Josie, also led portions of the tour, and along with David’s brother, Bryan, have active roles in the daily operation of the farm. 

The Correll family has a history of being community leaders. Sam Correll served on the Rowan County Soil and Water Board of Supervisors for over 20 years. David Correll serves on the boards of the Rowan County Farm Bureau, the Rowan County Farmer’s Market, and the Rowan County Fair Association, where he is Superintendent of Livestock. He is also a West Rowan FFA alumni, and a member of the Rowan County Holstein Association.

Cheryl is a 4-H club leader, Rowan County Fair’s Got To Be NC Display Coordinator, a member of the Rowan County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, and the Back Creek Presbyterian Mission Team. She is also on the Historic Salisbury Foundation Board of Trustees, and a member of the N.C. Hereford Association.

Education is another important component of the competition. The Corrells have hosted land judging events, school tours from pre-school to college age, various Extension and Master Gardener tours, and N.C. State Extension Agent tours.

They have hosted farmers and visitors from other countries and local, state and national political leaders. They have also assisted with crop research by planting test plots of various crops. 

The Corrells are passionate about advocating for agriculture, and we would like to thank them for doing their part to be good stewards of the earth, for being positive examples for other farmers, and for seeing the value in education. We would also like to congratulate the Correll Family for being the Mountain Region winners and runner up in the state for 2019 Outstanding Conservation Farm Family of the year. 

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