EAGLE PASS - The Maverick Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is proud to announce that Javier and Petra Mancha were awarded the 2018 Hispanic Farmer of the Year by the National Organization of Professional Hispanic Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees (NOPHNRCSE). The presentation was made at the NOPHNRCSE Annual Conference held in San Antonio, Texas.
This very prestigious award involved a nationwide competition among the many excellent Hispanic conservationist from across the United States. The Mancha’s received this award due to their commitment and passion to conserve the natural resources and promote conservation leadership in Maverick County.
From their original 10 acres in Maverick County known as the Rosita Valley, the Mancha’s have grown their agricultural operation to over 500 acres.
The Manchas began working with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service by developing a conservation plan and implementing conservation practices such as land leveling and critical land treatment on their land in Rosita Valley.
The Manchas agricultural operation grew when they purchased property just south of El Indio, Texas. They began to implement conservation practices on these 500 acres utilizing Farm Bill programs through the USDA-NRCS. Anyone who has travelled what the locals call the “El Indio Highway” over the years has witnessed the Mancha’s 4 Hermanas Ranch go from an unproductive, brush infested ranch to a well-managed, irrigated and very productive ranching and haying operation.
The Mancha’s “fruits of their labor” are well known in Maverick County. Many have tasted the delicious watermelons and cantaloupes that are usually on sale during the month of June. These are produced at the Mancha’s Rosita Valley farm.
Javier Mancha displays his leadership and passion for conservation and community through his service as the Chairman of the Maverick County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is also the Chairman of the Maverick County Water Improvement District #1.
In Maverick County, the NRCS has made significant progress in maintaining healthy and productive working landscapes by achieving their mission of “Helping People Help the Land.” The NRCS offers technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices.
The number of farmers and ranchers throughout Maverick County, utilizing the NRCS, has significantly increased, due in part to the Mancha’s involvement in the community and setting an example as to what can be accomplished by following an NRCS conservation plan
Adequately applied conservation practices not only assist the landowner in conserving their own natural resources but also plays an important role in the environment.
Agriculture plays a crucial role in every economy and individuals within it. Agriculture serves as the backbone of our country which is why sustaining and improving the land and our natural resources are vital to a sustainable future.
“The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Maverick County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) are partners working with farmers, ranchers, communities, tribes and other individuals and groups to protect and improve natural resources on private lands and I am humbled to accept this award,” said Javier Mancha.
If you are interested in developing or updating your conservation plan and working with the NRCS, please call 830-773-2518 to set up an appointment or visit our website at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov to find your local USDA Service Center.