6-14-13 Hall of Fame to welcome new members

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The West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame (WVAFHF) Foundation has selected four outstanding individuals for induction in 2013. These individuals will be honored at the WVAFHF annual banquet at Jackson’s Mill, Saturday, July 20, 2013. A reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and the induction ceremony at the Jackson’s Mill dining hall at 6 p.m.

Agriculture inductees for 2013 are Patrick D. Bowen, Roger L. Nestor and C. Elwood Williams. Eldon Plaugher will be inducted on the Forestry side.

Enshrinement in the WVAFHF is reserved for those individuals, businesses, organizations, institutions and foundations that have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, advancement and improvement of the agricultural, forestry and family life of West Virginia.

The WVAFHF Foundation was chartered in 1974. In 1976, the Board of Governors voted to include forestry professionals in the Hall of Fame.

Patrick D. Bowen started working with Soil Conservation Service/Natural Resources Conservation Service in 1981. During his career, he has been instrumental in obtaining many millions of dollars in financial assistance for landowners and the application of more than 5,000 conservation practices. He has been extremely active in the development of farmland protection programs, working diligently to pass the Farmland Protection Act of 2000 and was instrumental in the formation of the WV Association of Farmland Protection Board. He has been a leader of environmental conservation projects and strong proponent of nutrient management planning.

Roger L. Nestor started working as an Agriculture Extension Agent in Upshur County in 1977, transferred to Barbour County in 1984, and remained there until his retirement in 2012. Nestor has provided untiring service and research to the farmers of the state. For 27 years, he has helped local farmers in their selection of performance tested bulls and has played an important role in establishing a Barbour County calf pool. And although he has been involved in significant grassland and livestock programs throughout his career, Nestor’s most obvious achievement is the Barbour County 4-H land judging and home site evaluation teams that have dominated national competitions since 1985.

C. Elwood Williams is one of the architects of the modern poultry industry. While working at Pierce Foods in Moorefield, Williams helped to develop “Wing Dings,” which led to wings becoming the most popular appetizer in the nation. He helped design new cookers, batterers and breaders for the plant — designs that are now used throughout the industry. Williams has traveled the world to open new markets for poultry and other further processed meat products. The Williams family still raises breeder hens, Suffolk sheep, commercial and purebred Black Angus cattle and club calves on their Misty Mountain Farm.

Eldon R. Plaugher is well-recognized in the forestry industry for his skill and experience as a forester and land surveyor, and has often served as the public face of industrial forestry in West Virginia. During his 35 years with MeadWestVaco, he acquired, managed and sold hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Plaugher also worked for many years on educational programs for teachers and students designed to improve their forestry knowledge. A lifelong resident of West Virginia, he remains a lifelong steward of the land. Plaugher and wife Linda currently manage a small choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm.

The Tyler Consolidated FFA team, and their advisor Leon Ammons, will also be recognized at the annual banquet. The team won First Place in Land Judging and Home Site at the National Land and Range Judging Contest, which took place May 2 at Turner Farms in Oklahoma. More than 700 FFA and 4-H members from 34 states competed in the 62nd annual contest.

The WVAFHF Banquet is open to the public. Tickets are $30 each and must be purchased by July 5, 2013. Tickets can be purchased from Hope Goff, W.Va. Forestry Association, 304-372-1955, June Mandel, W.Va. Division of Forestry, 304-558-2788, ext. 51762, LeVera Gillum, W.Va. Farm Bureau, 304-472-2080, ext. 302, Denise Hunnell, WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, 304-293-2395 and  Robin Gothard, WVDA, 304-558-3550.

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