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Rahn named conservationist of the year
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With his family at his side, Brad Rahn displays his award as the Effingham County conservationist of the year. - photo by Photo provided

Brad Rahn is the Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District Conservationist of the Year in Soil and Water from Effingham County.

The Ogeechee River SWCD, which is made up of Bulloch, Candler, Effingham, Evans, Screven and Tattnall counties, hosted the 62nd annual awards banquet to recognize an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to soil and water conservation. The district encourages landowners to use conservation tillage as a cropping system, to install terraces and grassed waterways to reduce soil erosion and plantings of grass or trees on highly erosive land to help protect local streams.

Rahn is married to the former Kelly Calhoun and they have two boys, Branton and Brady. They are members of the Springfield United Methodist Church. Rahn is also a member of the Effingham County Chapter of the Georgia Young Farmers. He attended the DuPont Young Leader Program, Farm Bureau Young Leaders Weekend, the AgSouth Leader Program and the Peanut Leadership Academy.

He started farming in 1997 with his father Thomas Rahn at 17 years old after his grandfather Burton Rahn passed away. After graduating from high school, he attended ABAC in Tifton and obtained an associate degree in agricultural management.

Rahn farms around 500 acres of corn, cotton, soybeans and wheat. He helps his dad farm an additional 1,100 acres, as well as helps manage their beef cattle and hay fields. In 2000 after graduating from ABAC, Rahn started managing the family farm so his parents could concentrate on their greenhouse business.

He works to prevent chemical runoff into branches and streams by applying only the recommended amounts. He also takes regular soil tests so he knows the correct amount of nutrients to apply to his crops.This helps to prevent over-applying nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous that run off into streams and branches.

To prevent erosion, he strip tills his spring crops into small gain stubble. He started using strip-till as part of a 319 Project through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District.

The Rahn family are not strangers to the Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District Conservationist of the Year. Burton Rahn was honored as Conservationist of the Year in 1977. Thomas Rahn was honored in 1999. Adam Hebert with AgSouth Farm Credit presented the award and stated that he was honored to make Rahn the third generation Conservationist of the Year for Effingham County.