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Ogeechee Soil and Water Conservation District honors Davis
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Jackie Davis, above left, was named the Effingham County conservationist of the year. - photo by Photo provided

Jackie Davis was honored as the conservationist of the year for Effingham County by the Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District hosted the 60th annual awards banquet to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to soil and water conservation. In an effort to protect natural resources, the district encourages landowners to use conservation tillage as a cropping system, to install terraces and grassed waterways to reduce soil erosions and plantings of grass or trees on highly erosional land to help protect our streams.

Davis joined the Navy in 1955 and served four years before joining the Coast Guard in 1960. He is a third generation farmer in Effingham. Throughout his military career, Davis spent his vacation time at home working on the farm with his father, Joe Davis, and his cousin, Leroy Boot Gnann, who lived next door. Gnann was named Effingham County conservationist of the year in 1972.

Davis married Shirley Arnsdorff, the daughter of Ray and Nellie Arnsdorff, in 1961, and they live on a farm in Clyo. They have a daughter, Tami Hart, and a son, Joey, and five grandchildren.

After retiring from 22 years of military service, Davis enrolled in vocational school, where he studied electrical contracting and later acquired an electrical license from the state. He became employed with Effingham County as the zoning and building administrator and has worked there for the past 30 years.

Davis purchased 90 acres of crop land that joined his home place in 1995. He and his son Joey farm 30 acres of corn, soybeans, permanent grass and hay land. The Davises maintain 45 brood cows and 30 head of yearlings sired by Black Angus.

Effingham County received a grant to assist farmers in the Ebenezer Creek watershed in 2010. The Davises, with assistance from NRCS, planted 26 acres of Russell grass for grassing and hay land and installed a deep well for watering stock. They have four heavy use areas and concrete pads and concrete troughs, as well as some 4,000 to 5,000 feet of water line for their cattle. Davis also installed 1,500 feet of high tensile woven fence with three cross fences for paddocks. He is in the process of installing a walking lane along these 85 acres for easy access to each pasture.

Timely selection of timber is planned for each acre and grass planting and cover crops assure an abundance of wildlife on the farm.
The Ogeechee River Soil and Water District is made up of Effingham, Bulloch, Candler, Evans, Screven and Tattnall counties.