Landon Boyett of Boyett Farms of Reidsville was named as 2023 Tattnall County Conservationist of the Year in a banquet held at the Statesboro First Baptist Church on Thursday evening, February 1, 2024. He was joined at the event by his wife, Tori, and their four daughters: Sarah Beth, Anna, Landry, and Gintry; and his parents, Abe and Donna Boyett. Donna was especially pleased to see their son presented with this award, with memories of her own father, Cecil Tootle, honored as Tattnall Soil & Water Conservationist of the Year in 1976.
Landon was introduced by his banker, Will Sheffield, President and CEO of Glennville Bank, who shared a brief history of Boyett Farms and the scope of their farming enterprise, which includes poultry houses and a thriving cattle operation. He lauded Landon for his implementation of many new conservation practices in his poultry houses as well as the improvements he has made to his herd and the land he farms.
"His farming practices have contributed to soil and water conservation, such as improvements that have helped in the prevention of soil erosion and preservation of water quality," said Sheffield.
Landon is an active member of the Tattnall County Chapter of the Georgia Cattlemen's Association, and recently served a three-year term as Chapter President and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.
"He is forward thinking, and during his service as Chapter President, Landon invited guest speakers to the regular meetings to provide educational opportunities for local farmers and cattlemen related to good conservation practices," said Sheffield.
Landon was named the Tattnall County Cattleman of the Year in 2012. The family was also named a Young Farm Family finalist by the Georgia Young Farmers Association in 2008.
"Additionally, and most importantly, Landon is a brother in Christ and serves faithfully as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church in Glennville," said Sheffield.
"Landon has devoted his life to farming, specifically the poultry and cattle industry. His story includes that of heritage, innovation, sustainability, conservation, and much hard work that is evident in his progressive operation today. It is his hope that his conservation efforts today will ensure that his children and future generations will be able to enjoy the land and all its resources for the ages," said Sheffield as he called Landon to the podium to be presented the award.
Landon was humble and grateful in his acceptance remarks.
"I thank my parents for the rural life they provided and the work ethics they instilled in me. I was blessed to be brought up in an agricultural setting by Christian parents," said Landon, also thanking his wife of 25 years and helpmate, Tori.
Other 2023 Conservationists of the Year in the six-county Ogeechee Soil & River Conservation District honored at the banquet are as follows: Evans County-James Michael Riggs, Jr.; Candler-Jason Franklin; Bulloch-Trey Renfroe; Effingham-Andrew Kessler; and Screven-Bob and JoBeth Mills. They were all introduced with a brief synopsis of their farming operations.
Each county was represented at the banquet by their District Supervisors, with Robert Kim Lynn and Bernard Purvis as Tattnall's District Supervisors in attendance.
Another presentation of a scholarship award from the Ogeechee River Soil & Water District was made to Jacob Rogers, a senior at Pinewood Christian Academy (PCA) and the son of James and Cyndi Rogers of Claxton. A scholarship is awarded each year to a senior who plans to major in the fields of agriculture, forestry, or conservation. The presentation was made by District Supervisor Chance Callaway.
Several individuals related updates and reports who were affiliated with the Ogeechee River Soil & Water Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), University of Georgia Extension Service, and other agencies concerned with soil and water conservation. The farmers were reminded that the Farm Bill has been extended to September 30, 2024.
The Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District has the longest running annual conservation banquet in the nation that recognizes these admirable stewards of our natural resources, with the 2024 banquet serving as the 73rd event.
The following banks and lending institutions sponsor the Conservationist of the Year Program: Glennville Bank, Tippins Bank & Trust, Renasant Bank, South Georgia Bank, Claxton Bank, Truist Bank, Citizens Bank of the South, Queensborough National Bank, Ag South Farm Credit, Synovus, Core Credit Union, Morris Bank, Bank of Newington, Pineland Bank, Farmers and Merchants Bank, Statesboro Bank, and Metter Bank-Durden Banking Co., Inc.