Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District named its annual 2022 conservationists of the year, one for each of the seven counties the District serves. For her exceptional dedication to conservation efforts and practices on her land, Josephine Kaufman has received the honorable distinction for Morgan County.
A native of Thailand, Kaufman gave up the hustle and bustle lifestyle of working in corporate Atlanta to start her organic farm in Morgan County in 2014. Jody’s Farm applied for assistance establishing a high tunnel hoop house to extend her vegetables growing season. She has expanded her operation from 2 acres of vegetables and fruits to 12 acres currently. She always planted cover crops to maximize her soil heath potential.
By expanding her operation, her watering source was no longer reliable, which resulted in her running out of water. Kaufman needed assistance from NRCS to improve her water quantity and water quality on her vegetables farm by installing a well and irrigation pipeline to implement a Micro-Irrigation System. She will be the first to admit that her old irrigation system did not conserve water and was throwing away money. The old system utilized sprinklers, sequentially causing huge loss of water due to evaporation that was made worse during the hot summer days. Kaufman also uses companion crops to assist with insect and pest control, and believes strongly in using pollinator species to assist with plant germination.
Jody’s Farm grows vegetables including, but not limited to, tomatoes, collards, turnips, squash, and peppers. She markets and sells her produce at local Farmers Markets, Community Based Organizations, Senior Programs, and to WIC customers. Other local farmers also rely on Kaufman’s marketing skills to sell their produce as well, because they know she will leverage the best price for their goods. It’s amazing the annual revenue she generates on her farm growing vegetables. Her biggest accomplishment is providing food to food banks for families that are struggling in today’s economy. Jody’s Farm has hosted tours to showcase her operation and has even taught and continues to teach other beginning farmers who want to start growing vegetables.
Jody’s Farm is a notable example of landowners conducting outstanding conservation work on their farm and showing their commitment to maintaining the land and natural resources. Not only does she implement the best management practices on her farm to conserve the land, but she is advocating a healthy lifestyle with her vegetables which are consumed by many.
The annual award is made possible in part by sponsors, including local Morgan County sponsors AgSouth Farm Credit, Bank of Madison, and AG-Pro.
About Piedmont SWCD: Soil & Water Conservation Districts were created by the Georgia General Assembly to protect soil and water resources, following the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. SWCD’s provide a way for citizens to set local resource priorities for state & federal assistance programs. Each district is made up of one or more counties and each county typically has one appointed and one elected representative. The Piedmont SWCD represents Baldwin, Greene, Hancock, Jones, Morgan, Putnam, and Taliaferro.