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H. Bayard and Agnes Williams

By Cheryl Mattix

Whig Business Editor

“We take a lot of pride in our work on the farm and it’s wonderful that people noticed,” said H. Bayard Williams, owner of the 247-acre Foreman Farm on Grove Point Road near Earleville.  Williams was describing how he and his wife, Agnes, felt about being chosen Cooperators of the Year 2002 by the Cecil Soil Conservation District. “It is a great honor,” he said.  The Cecil Soil Conservation District recognized the couple last Thursday night at Sandy Cove near North east with 235 guests attending the dinner ceremony.

Williams was born on Rose Hill Farm which adjoins his current property.  In 1954 at the age of 13 his family moved from Rose Hill into Earleville.  He returned again to Grove Point Road as owner of the Foreman Farm in 1986.  “I’ve spent my whole like in the Earleville area either working on my own farm or someone else’s” he said.  Much of that work has been making cabinets, remodeling or building homes for people in the area.  He owns H. Bayard Williams Contracting firm, from which he is currently in the process of retiring. When Williams bought the Foreman Farm in 1986, he continued leasing the land to the 3 M Company, operated by four Miller brothers from Kent County.  “The Miller boys are good farmers,” He said.  They plant corn, beans and small grain.

As a lifelong steward of the land, Williams had the farm placed in agriculture preservation about five years ago. He’s been a district cooperator since 1988.  He got interested after his neighbor Paul Raech showed him the kinds of conservation projects the district could help him do. “He took me to (the late Alonzo Decker’s Money point Farm to show me what was done there.”  William said.  “That was it for me.  Right after that visit I decided to contract the district for their help with erosion on my farm.” He has been involved in projects ever since.  Over the years, Williams has implemented a variety of soil conservation practices.  Some of the structural projects he has implemented on the farm include ponds, grassed waterways, filter strips, both piped and rock grade stabilization and shallow water wildlife areas.  His farm also practices residue management, forest management, and contour/crop rotation.

Each year the Soil Conservation District selects a farm owner or operator who has consistently shown outstanding efforts toward the conservation of their natural resources.  “They’ve used some of the best conservation practices on this farm.” said Charles Hayes, Soil Conservation District Manager.  “It’s these efforts along with caring for the land and wildlife by Agnes and Bayard that we honor here tonight.”

“For those that love the land, it’s a real pleasure to take care of it.” Williams said.

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