Bearden Honored by Texas SWC Board for 40 Years’ Service
By Marisue Potts
Motley County rancher James Bearden was honored for 40 years of service with a plaque from the Texas Soil and Water Conservation Board, presented by Field Representative Jack Foote on November 14 in Matador.
Since August of 1977 Bearden has faithfully attended monthly meetings of the Upper Pease Soil and Water Conservation Board, representing the farmers and ranchers of Motley County in an advisory position. Despite the weather and early morning or late evening meetings, the indomitable descendent of pioneer Charlie Bird persevered. Over 400 times he climbed out of the Tongue River valley to face difficult roads that are uphill both coming and going, sometimes muddy and often rutted. In doing so Bearden achieved the longest running tenure of any board member of the Upper Pease Soil and Water Conservation District in Motley County history.
According to the 75 years-old native, one of the best soil and water conservation programs that improved Motley County has been the Federal Conservation Reserve Program, commonly known as CRP. Planting cover crops on highly erodible land not only prevented the loss of soil and eliminated many sand storms, but also benefitted wildlife with habitat cover and protection. Bearden has no plans for retirement as long as his truck will make it up the hill and avoid the feral hogs and deer on the road from Russellville.
Jack Foote, field representative for Texas Soil and Water Conservation board, recently presented to James Bearden of Motley County
a plaque honoring 40 years of service to the Upper Pease Soil and Water Conservation District.
(Photo by James Timmons.)