Jerry Ray was named Moore County Conservation Farmer of the Year and Lynchburg veterinarian Bryant Morton was named Bedford County’s Conservation Farmer of the Year at soil conservation district banquets held recently. The awards recognize excellence in agricultural production and farm management, along with leadership in farm and community organizations. The award also honors family contributions in producing safe and abundant supplies of food, fiber and shelter products for U.S. consumers. “It meant a lot to our entire family,” Morton said. “It was definitely a farm/ family award and not an individual award.” His wife, Wendy, wrote on her Facebook page, “We have always firmly believed that farmers should be good stewards of their land. We have been richly blessed with 240 acres of our own little heaven and have invested a lot in fencing, soil enrichment, pasture rotation, and soil and water conservation over the years. … Last night we were recognized for being good stewards of the land, which is one of the highest honors to have, in our eyes!” Ray has won several awards, including being named the Tennessee Farmer of the Year in 2008.