The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management or Delta F.A.R.M,. based in Stoneville, MS, will receive a first place Gulf Guardian Award for 2009 in the Civic/Non-profit category.
Delta F.A.R.M. is an association of growers and landowners that strive to implement recognized agricultural practices which are conserving, restoring, and enhancing the environment in the Yazoo-Mississippi River Delta region of Northwest Mississippi. Over 21 non-governmental organizations and state and federal natural resource agencies participated in the development of the program to assist producers in attaining the highest possible level of land and water resource stewardship. The purpose of the program is to ensure a more sustainable and profitable future for agriculture.
Mike Sturdivant, Jr., the current Chairman of Delta F.A.R.M. and farmer from Glendora said, “Delta F.A.R.M. helps producers in the region address natural resource concerns by using tools that promote economic and environmental sustainability. In doing so, the organization has been successful in accruing environmental benefits while fostering significant support from the agricultural and environmental community.”
Currently, there are 1,254,464 acres of land in Yazoo-Mississippi River Delta enrolled in the voluntary program. Participating producers submit to annual evaluations to document the current conservation efforts in the region. Numerous programs and services are provided by Delta F.A.R.M. to assist producers. The farmer-lead organization provides these services free of charge and implements watershed improvement projects by leveraging technical and funding support provided by private entities, state and federal natural resource agencies and non-governmental organizations to benefit its membership and the environment. Among the private entities that support Delta F.A.R.M. are Syngenta, Monsanto, FMC and Famers Grain Terminal, who have supported the organization since its inception and continue to serve as the organization’s primary sponsors.
While Delta F.A.R.M. operates exclusively within the Yazoo Basin in Northwest Mississippi, the efforts of the organization and its farmer members have benefited water quality in the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. Stanley Meiburg, Acting Regional Administrator of U.S. EPA Region 4 said, “The Gulf of Mexico is a priceless treasure. As a unique habitat, a place which gives pleasure to countless Americans, and a source of some of our most valuable resources, it has no equal. These Gulf Guardians who labor to protect and enhance this magnificent sea deserve our highest praise and thanks.”