John M. Langdon, owner of Langdon Farms near Benson, was recently awarded the State Swine Environmental Stewardship award and later the National Stewardship award. Langdon says his care of the environment is really just a way of life:
"This has just sort of been a way of life for us over the years and each year there seems to be a new project that we try to identify for our three children. Through their middle school and high school years we were always looking for summer projects and they were involved. It has been a group, family effort."
Some of the conservation methods that Langdon employs is using underground irrigation lines dispensing hog lagoon waste into hay fields and crop lands, maintaining buffers on streams to catch nutrient runoff before it enters the waterways, and reseeding harvested forest land.
Langdon goes on to explain that it’s important to him to cultivate a sustainable farming operation:
"It supports your business and your family and at the same time, supports all the environmental things we need to do in order to sustain your farm and to be friendly to the environment and to be conscientious of your neighbors downstream or across the street."
And maintaining the Langdon operation goes back to Langdon’s father, long before it was ‘fashionable’ to be a good steward of the land and water:
"He was recognized as a soill and water conservation farm family, I think back in 1980. And he had harvested timber here and saw the need to seek a professional forester's advice about reestablishing our trees. As a young man I watched what he did and I think my kids are watching what I'm doing and it just appears to me that each generation is learning something from the next generation and passing it on and improving it."
Langdon says he wouldn’t run his operation any other way:
"Me and my wife's opinion is it's been a win-win situation -- for the environment and for our business and for raising our childred to understand the satisfaction out of doing a job and doing it well. And the benefits of doing the right thing for the environment and appreciating the natural resources that we've been blessed with to live on a farm and work and make living on a farm."
John M. Langdon, Langdon Farms in near Benson, North Carolina