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Cattle farmer honored for conservation efforts

Farmer, others honored at annual agribusiness breakfast

POSTED: April 17, 2014 12:00 a.m.

Todd Clark turns off power to his fence prior to entering the field.

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Some say the agricultural industry in Hall County, worth $298 million to the area economy, is the backbone of the community.

The trickle-down effect it has on other industries, such as food processing, makes agricultural businesses responsible for a significant share of the area workforce.

But without farmers like Gainesville resident Todd Clark, none of this is true.

Clark runs a cattle farm on Will Wallace Road with his wife, who grew up on a dairy farm, and he was recognized Wednesday as Farmer of the Year at the annual Hall County Agribusiness Awards Breakfast.

“He’d probably rather us not give him this” award, said Gene Anderson, a supervisor with the Hall County Soil & Water Conservation District.

Humble as he was, Clark expressed gratitude to his fellow farmers and conservationists for the assistance he has received in making his business grow and remain environmentally friendly.

“I couldn’t do it without NRCS,” Clark said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which assists landowners in applying conservation practices, such as erosion control, proper waste disposal and water quality enhancement, has been integral in supporting Clark’s business.

Clark said he receives financial support to help implement conservation measures and initiatives on his farm, subsidies he often matches himself.

Clark has 140 mother cows and about 250 total. He said 95 percent of his cattle sales are made online, and Clark said he expects that trend to continue.

Farmers are “extremely entrepreneurial,” said Tim Evans, vice president of economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.


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